Set-top box agreement has produced powerful energy savings
image credit: Photo 167542182 © Iuliia Alekseeva | Dreamstime
- Aug 24, 2020 11:30 am GMTAug 21, 2020 9:27 pm GMT
- 706 views
A premise behind getting consumers to do such things as replace their incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs is that getting a large number of people to each save a small amount of energy will produce a large reduction in energy consumption.
The latest edition of an annual report that tallies the savings from an agreement between pay-TV providers, set-top box makers and two advocacy groups provides some evidence to support that premise.
The goal of the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvement to the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes was to improve the boxes’ energy efficiency (Duh!) while leaving room for their manufacturers and pay-TV companies to keep adding features to them. According to the 2019 report on the agreement, which was put together and recently issued by environmental consulting firm D+R International, it has succeeded.
The report found that the annual energy consumption of all the set-top boxes in the country has declined by 14.7 terawatt hours, or 46 percent, from 32 TWh in 2012 to 17.3 TWh in 2019, since the agreement has been in effect. That, the report says, is nearly equivalent to the energy that five 500-MW coal-fired power plants put out in a year.
Cumulatively, the report estimates that the agreement has reduced the amount of energy that set-top boxes consume by 55.1 TWh, which is enough to power all the homes in California for more than seven months. As a result, consumers have saved approximately $7.1 billion and nearly 39 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions have been avoided.
TV-watching consumers are likely to save even more power in the future, as the National Resources Defense Council, which was one of the two advocacy groups to sign the agreement — the other was the National Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy — noted in a blog post on the report. The reason is that more and more consumers are doing away with their set-top boxes completely and accessing programming through apps on smart TVs or streaming devices like Apple TV and Roku sticks.
That might produce a small energy savings for individual consumers, but it could result in a giant energy savings for mankind.