New Report Shows Pay-TV Industry Efficiency Milestones For 2013
The Voluntary Agreement led to a 4.4 percent reduction in national
energy consumption by set-top boxes even as deployed stock increased
These energy savings are even larger when compared to national energy
use projections without the Voluntary Agreement. Against those
projections, the improved energy efficiency of the set-top boxes
procured in 2013 saved American consumers almost $350 million in
energy bills and saved nearly 1,750,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide
(CO2), equivalent to the output of one large (500MW) power
Set-top box purchases indicate early adoption of 2017 goals – 90
percent of purchased set-top boxes must meet a more stringent set of
energy efficiency levels called Tier 2. Approximately 47 percent of
set-top boxes purchased in 2013 meet the more efficient Tier 2 levels.
The industry now offers new whole home DVRs, which are able to deliver
live and recorded content to multiple TVs in a home, providing
additional energy savings as consumers no longer need a DVR on each TV.
Cable operators have deployed software updates enabling “light sleep”
for set-top boxes already in homes and new set-top boxes. Telco
providers deployed “light sleep” capabilities, and satellite providers
have included an “automatic power down” feature in more than 90
percent of set-top boxes purchased and deployed.
A new report released today shows that the voluntary set-top box energy
conservation agreement between the pay-TV industry, consumer electronics
manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates has saved American
consumers approximately $168 millionin energy bills.
According to the Voluntary
Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top
Boxes 2013 Annual Report, the improved energy efficiency of
set-top boxes also represents a savings of nearly 842,000 metric tons of
carbon dioxide (CO2) per year. This is equivalent to the
output of one-half of a large (500MW) power plant.
Eighty-five percent of set-top boxes purchased by pay-TV providers in
2013 met the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR 3.0
efficiency levels. New set-top boxes use approximately 14 percent less
energy than those previously issued by the service providers. Other 2013
“The Voluntary agreement to reduce national energy use of set-top boxes
is off to a great start. With these improvements the national energy
used to power these devices is now going down,” said Noah Horowitz,
Senior Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The great
news is that the more efficient boxes save consumers money on their
electric bill, reduce pollution, and work even better than the old ones
“These collective efforts of the cable, satellite, and telephone
industries demonstrate a commitment to delivering innovative video
services while at the same time saving energy in our customers’ homes,”
said Michael Powell, President & CEO, NCTA. “A big part of innovation is
making sure we are good stewards of the environment, so these providers
and device manufacturers will continue to look for new ways to conserve
energy in delivering services.”
“The Annual Report is an important obligation of the Voluntary
Agreement,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “It provides
transparency, public accountability and a progress check on this
non-regulatory initiative designed to deliver comprehensive energy and
related cost savings for consumers and the country, while also
protecting innovation and competition within our industry. The consumer
technology industry is proud of the progress we have made to date in
partnership with pay-TV providers to increase the energy efficiency of
set-top boxes, as our industry continues to reduce our environmental
footprint and increase sustainability.”
In 2012, the pay-TV industry initiated a Voluntary Agreement that would
eventually result in annual electricity savings of $1 billion or more,
as the energy efficiency of set-top boxes is increased by up to 45
percent. Agreement signatories include 11 cable, satellite, and telco
video companies and all major equipment vendors serving 91.9 million
U.S. video subscribers, accounting for 91.3 percent of the total market
in 2013. In 2013, leading energy-efficiency advocates joined with the
pay-TV industry in an expanded version of the Voluntary Agreement.
One of the requirements of the Voluntary Agreement is the publication of
an annual report, which was conducted by D&R International. The
Independent Administrator, hired and funded by the Voluntary Agreement
Steering Committee following a competitive bidding process, collected
data directly from service providers before aggregating and
incorporating the data in the report.
Highlights of Annual Report on Set-Top Box Voluntary AgreementEnergy Savings. The Voluntary Agreement reduced national annual
set-top box energy consumption 1.4 TWh (4.4%) even as deployed stock
increased. This reduction represents a consumer savings of
approximately $168 million and CO2 savings of 842,000
Procurement Commitments. Although procurement commitments are
not in effect until 2014, 85% of service providers’ 2013 set-top box
purchases met ENERGY STAR Version 3.0 standards. Approximately 47%
indicate performance at more efficient Tier 2 levels that take effect
Light Sleep. Cable providers deployed software updates enabling
light sleep for set-top boxes already in homes. Two Telco providers
added a light sleep feature to their DVR set-top boxes.
Automatic Power Down. Satellite providers included Automatic
Power Down in more than 90% of set-top boxes.
Whole-Home Systems. Satellite providers made whole-home systems
available to all subscribers. Telco providers provided similar
whole-home capability. Although not required by the Voluntary
Agreement, cable operators also deployed new whole-home solutions.
Next generation set-top boxes. Cable providers are scheduled to
begin field testing set-top boxes with next generation power
management in late 2014 that should dramatically reduce set top box
power use when the user is not watching or recording a show.
Consumer-Facing Energy Efficiency Information. All pay-TV
providers posted energy efficiency information for new set-top boxes.
Links for each service provider are included in the Annual Report, p26.
Field Verification. An independent contractor will verify the
energy usage of select set-top boxes in sample homes later this year.
The results of this testing will be published in 2015.
Random Audit. The Independent Administrator is conducting a
random audit of one provider to verify the number and specifications
of the set top boxes it purchased in 2013.
About NCTA: NCTA is the principal trade association for the U.S.
cable industry, representing cable operators serving more than 90
percent of the nation's cable television households and more than 200
cable program networks. The cable industry is the nation’s largest
broadband provider of high-speed Internet access, serving more than 54
million customers, after investing $210 billion since 1996 to build
two-way interactive networks with fiber optic technology. Cable
companies also provide state-of-the-art digital telephone service to
more than 28 million American consumers.
About CEA: The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the
technology trade association representing the $211 billion U.S. consumer
electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of
CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research,
technical training and education, industry promotion, standards
development and the fostering of business and strategic
relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The
Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into
CEA’s industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org,
and through social media: http://www.ce.org/social
Brian Dietz, 202-222-2350
Source: Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and NCTA