Jun 27, 2011

DVR, Cable and Satellite Boxes Waste $2 Billion of Electricity Every Year

Digital video recorders (DVRs), cable and other pay-TV boxes cost American consumers $3 billion a year — $1 billion to operate when in active use and an additional $2 billion while inactive but still running at near full power, according to a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Also known as set-top boxes, these devices squander the equivalent annual energy output of six coal burning power plants (500 MW) because they are not equipped to power down when not being used.

There are approximately 160 million set-top boxes installed in US homes, or the equivalent of one box for every two Americans.

These boxes consume as much electricity each year as that consumed by the entire state of Maryland...

The NRDC study, Reducing the National Energy Consumption of Set-Top Boxes, also found that today's average new cable high-definition digital video recorder (HD-DVR) consumes more electricity annually than the new flat panel TV to which it's typically connected and about 40% more than its basic set-top box counterpart. In contrast, cell phones, which also work on a subscriber basis with a need for secure connections, are able to use extremely low levels of power when not in use – primarily to preserve battery life.Full Report Here