Energy Use of Cable, Satellite and Telephone Set-Top Boxes to Be Slashed, Saving Consumers $1 Billion Annually


NRDC Part of Historic Agreement with Cable, Satellite and Phone Companies to Use More Efficient Equipment

SAN FRANCISCO–(ENEWSPF)–December 23, 2013 — A voluntary agreement announced today by the Natural Resources Defense Council and other energy-efficiency advocates,  the U.S. Department of Energy, the pay-TV industry; and equipment manufacturers will reduce  the national electricity use of new set-top boxes by $1 billion a year. Once in full effect, the agreement will save three power plants’ worth of electricity and prevent the emission of 5 million tons of carbon pollution each year. 

Under the voluntary agreement, the leading cable, satellite and telephone companies commit to buy more energy efficient set-top boxes, and — for the first time – make publicly available the energy use of their new set-top boxes installed in almost 90 million U.S. homes.

The agreement caps a yearlong negotiation that followed NRDC’s groundbreaking report that found set-top box devices consumed approximately $3 billion worth of electricity annually; much of it when the box is turned “off” and the user is neither watching nor recording a show.

Following is a statement by Noah Horowitz, one of the lead negotiators for the voluntary agreement, and a senior scientist and director of the Center for Energy Efficiency at NRDC:  

“This historic agreement promises to put $1 billion back in the pockets of U.S. consumers every year because the new set-top boxes will use less energy. We appreciate the industry’s renewed commitment toward making the devices that bring pay TV into 90 million-plus U.S. homes more efficient and look forward to working together to reduce their future energy use.”

Signatories to the agreement include pay-TV providers (listed according to number of customers) Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, Cox, Charter, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink; and manufacturers Cisco, ARRIS (including Motorola), and EchoStar Technologies. The energy efficiency advocate signatories in addition to NRDC are the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP).

Go here for the joint statement from signatories and DOE:

Here is a link to Noah’s blog on the topic:

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.