According to a report from D+R International, consumers have saved $3.5 billion as a result of the voluntary set-top box energy conservation agreement among pay TV providers, manufacturers and energy efficiency advocates. The energy saved during the first five years of the program is enough to power all homes in Los Angeles County with electricity for almost a year, D+R says.
Signatories of the Voluntary Agreement include all of the major multichannel video service providers representing more than 93 percent of the U.S. multichannel video market (AT&T/DirecTV, Comcast, Charter, DISH, Verizon, Cox, Cablevision, Frontier and CenturyLink), major manufacturers (ARRIS, Technicolor, and EchoStar Technologies) and energy-efficiency advocates (Natural Resources Defense Council and the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)).
D+R says the Voluntary Agreement has reduced national set-top box annual energy consumption by 34% since 2012. Year-over-year energy savings increased by nearly 50% from 2016 to 2017.
"To date, the Voluntary Agreement has brought progress in set-top box energy efficiency - in the form of energy and cost savings - to more than 90 million US households," said Jennifer Amann, buildings program director for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). "We look forward to continuing to work with the industry to ensure ongoing improvements to set top boxes and related advances will save consumers even more on energy costs while reducing emissions."
Noah Horowitz, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), said: "The cable, satellite and telephone companies have made significant progress in bringing down the energy use of the set-top boxes they place in our homes. The energy savings verified by D+R's report are a big deal, and even more promising is the industry drive toward apps where consumers can access both live and recorded programming directly on their new smart TV or via a device that uses very little power like an Apple TV or Roku stick that they purchase. This eliminates the need for a set-top box from their service provider and the energy costs and resultant pollution that come with it."
"The new data on consumer usage of apps shows that multichannel video providers have been successful in making their services available on a wide variety of retail devices in lieu of set-top boxes," said Neal Goldberg, NCTA's general counsel. "One third of all devices used by consumers to access MVPD services in 2017 were not operator-provided set-top boxes, and as that percentage continues to increase, consumers will save even more energy in addition to enjoying more choice in how they watch video."