U.S. STB initiative saves consumers $2 billion in energy costs

Monday, August 23rd, 2021 
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Industry Initiative Saves Consumers $2 Billion in Energy Costs

  • Set-top box energy usage cut in half

Consumers saved $2.2 billion in energy costs in 2020 thanks to a voluntary agreement between the pay-TV industry and energy efficiency advocates. The agreement led by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association and CableLabs has cut energy usage of set-top boxes by more than half in the United States, since it was established eight years ago, according to a new independent audit report.

Even as functionality and features of set-top boxes have expanded, the agreement has saved consumers $9.3 billion in total – enough to power all homes in the entire state of California with electricity for more than nine months – and avoided more than 50 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.

These savings accelerated in 2020 under new, more rigorous efficiency levels that are an average of 20% more efficient than the agreement’s prior targets. Nearly 97% of all new set-top boxes purchased by the voluntary agreement participants in 2020 met these new efficiency levels.

“The success of this voluntary agreement during a period of rapid technological advancement and market change demonstrates the agility of a non-regulatory program in securing energy efficiencies without impairing innovation,” said Doug Johnson, vice president of emerging technology, CTA.

“The group has achieved remarkable success both by driving down the energy used by set-top boxes and through innovations that have reduced the number of set-top boxes used by consumers,” said Neal Goldberg, NCTA General Counsel.

Participants in the agreement include major pay-TV providers serving the U.S. market (Altice, AT&T/DIRECTV, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DISH, Frontier, and Verizon), major manufacturers (CommScope and Technicolor), energy-efficiency advocates (the Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy), and supporting organizations (Consumer Technology Association, NCTA – The Internet & Television Association, and CableLabs).

In March 2021, the signatories extended the voluntary agreement term with a fourth tier of energy efficiency levels that will become applicable in 2023. Under these new commitments, the total energy used by set-top boxes in the United States is expected to continue to decline by the end of 2025.

Links: NCTA; Consumer Technology Association