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US energy conservation standards set for STBs

The U.S. Energy Department, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) have announced non-regulatory energy efficiency standards for pay-TV set-top boxes that will result in significant energy savings for more than 90 million U.S. homes. These new standards – developed through a non-regulatory agreement between the pay-TV industry, the consumer electronics industry and energy efficiency advocates – will improve set-top box efficiency by 10 to 45 percent (depending on box type) by 2017, and are expected to save more than $1 billion on consumer energy bills annually.

“These energy efficiency standards reflect a collaborative approach among the Energy Department, the pay-TV industry and energy efficiency groups – building on more than three decades of common-sense efficiency standards that are saving American families and businesses hundreds of billions of dollars,” says Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “The set-top box efficiency standards will save families money by saving energy, while delivering high quality appliances for consumers that keep pace with technological innovation.”

The agreement, which runs through 2017, covers all types of set-top boxes from pay-TV providers, including cable, satellite and telephone companies. The agreement also requires the pay-TV industry to publicly report model-specific set-top box energy use and requires an annual audit of service providers by an independent auditor to ensure boxes are performing at the efficiency levels specified in the agreement. The Energy Department also retains its authority to test set-top boxes under the ENERGY STAR  verification program, which provides another verification tool to measure the efficiency of set-top boxes.

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

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