Canadian program drives energy efficiency of new set-top boxes

Wednesday, September 21st, 2022 
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Industry Program Drives Energy Efficiency of New Pay TV and Internet Equipment, Extends Commitment

OTTAWA — Since the Canadian Energy Efficiency Voluntary Agreement (CEEVA) for Set-Top Boxes launched in 2017, the average energy consumption of new set-top boxes has dropped by 58 per cent, from 116.2 kWh/yr to 48.5 kWh/yr, according to a new independent annual report. This marks the fifth consecutive year of reduction in the energy use of new set-top boxes (STB).

The report also found that 99.8 per cent of all new set-top boxes—devices that allow consumers to receive television programming and related services— purchased in 2021 met CEEVA efficiency levels, surpassing the energy efficiency goals established in the agreement.

In collaboration with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), CEEVA was launched in 2017 by Canadian TV service providers and set-top box manufacturers to improve energy efficiency while fostering innovation and strengthening the customer experience. CEEVA participants include five of the largest Canadian Pay TV subscribers (Bell Canada, Cogeco, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, and Videotron), manufacturers (CommScope, EchoStar Technologies, and Technicolor, soon to become VANTIVA), and supporting organizations (Consumer Technology Association and CableLabs).

Driven by the success of the set-top box agreement, in 2020 CEEVA participants implemented a second program for small network equipment (SNE)—devices that allow consumers to receive broadband services, such as routers and modems. The goal of this program is to deploy efficient SNE without restricting the rapid pace of technological innovation. In the second year of reporting, 100 per cent of new SNE purchases met the levels established in the agreement, and that purchased SNE in 2021 were, on average, 38 per cent more efficient than SNE purchased in 2020.

“The impact that CEEVA is having is remarkable,” said Fahd Aman of Cogeco and Chair of the CEEVA Steering Committee. “Through CEEVA STB and SNE, Canada’s leading internet and television service providers and manufacturers continue to make real progress towards reducing emissions while supporting technological innovation.”

“Achieving a net zero emissions future will require continuous improvements in the energy efficiency of our homes, businesses, and industries,” said Drew Leyburne, Assistant Deputy Minister, Energy Efficiency and Technology Sector, Natural Resources Canada. “Through CEEVA, government-industry collaboration is driving important improvements in set-top boxes and small network equipment. We value the commitment from manufacturers and service providers to this process and its outcomes.”

The parties also announced that the program has been strengthened with commitments to procure equipment that is even more energy efficient, beginning in 2023. In addition, the parties have extended the terms of both the CEEVA STB and SNE programs, through to the issuance of a report on STB and SNE energy efficiency in 2027.

The annual audit report was published by D+R International, Ltd. (D+R), an independent energy firm that aggregated and analyzed confidential procurement data submitted by the signatories to determine compliance with CEEVA commitments. D+R verified lab test results of each set-top box conducted by accredited third-party test organizations and conducted an audit of select procurement data.

Links: CEEVA; NRCan