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Environment

TV Efficiency Deal To Save Billions

by Jeff Johnson
January 6, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 1

A recent voluntary agreement among the Department of Energy, cable TV and other pay-for-view companies, and energy efficiency advocates will save consumers more than $1 billion per year in energy costs, according to DOE. The deal calls for improved efficiency standards of 10–45% for “set-top box” devices by 2017. Set-top boxes receive television signals and other related services from cable, satellite, broadband, and local television networks and interface these signals with in-home television and other entertainment systems. These devices are large consumers of electricity even when not being used to supply signals to entertainment systems. The amount of energy saved through the agreement will eliminate the need for three power plants and prevent 5 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, notes Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). Since 2011, the senator says, she has pushed television service providers to reduce the waste from these so-called vampire energy users, which consume electricity when not in use.

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