Washington—U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today commended the country’s cable, satellite and telephone-based television providers for agreeing to deploy more energy-efficient television set-top boxes, the electronic devices that connect televisions to providers’ networks.
According to industry estimates, the voluntary action will save 90 million American households $1.5 billion in annual electricity costs once the agreement takes full effect.
“Television set-top boxes cost consumers $3 billion each year in electricity charges, but a stunning $2 billion of that is wasted when televisions are not in use,” Feinstein said. “Last year, I asked the industry to utilize more efficient equipment, and I am very pleased they have taken the first step to accomplish that. I would like to congratulate the 15 companies that joined today’s agreement, which will save consumers billions of dollars in reduced electricity bills.”
Satellite and telephone-based television providers announced an industrywide initiative—already endorsed by the largest cable providers—that 90 percent of set-top boxes deployed starting in 2014 will meet Energy Star 3.0 efficiency standards. Companies joining today’s agreement are Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Verizon, Charter, AT&T, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink and television set-top box manufacturers Cisco, Motorola, EchoStar Technologies and ARRIS.
“I hope the industry will continue to work with stakeholders to develop and deploy more efficient equipment that meets Energy Star 4.0 specifications as soon as they are finalized next year,” Feinstein added. “Our goal should be to eliminate wasted electricity, and one way to achieve that is developing and deploying set-top boxes that turn off when not in use.”
In addition to deploying the energy-efficient set-top boxes, the industry has agreed to create an organization to:
- establish a process for testing box efficiency;
- verify set-top box performance in the field;
- post product power consumption information by each company for its customers;
- appoint an independent administrator to collect auditable annual reports of new set-top boxes and energy test results; and
- publish reports on set-top box performance, improvements in energy efficiency and aggregate results and trends across the industry.