Set-top Agreements Saved Consumers $2 Billion-plus in 2020


Energy efficiency commitments by the top cable/broadband providers saved consumers more than $2.2 billion in energy costs in 2020, according to a new report from the Consumer Technology Association, which along with NCTA-the Internet & Television Association and Cable Labs led the agreement.

Among the companies that struck voluntary agreements are Comcast, Charter, Cox and AT&T (DirecTV) and Dish.

Also Read: NCTA, CTA Renew Set-Top Agreement

Since the agreements were struck eight years ago, the set-top savings are pushing $10 billion and in total, set-top energy use was cut by more than half over those eight years, even as function and features have expanded.

The agreements got an upgrade in 2020 with some more rigorous efficiency standards -- some 97% of new set-tops purchased in 2020 met those tougher standards -- that boosted efficiency by 20% over the previous targets.

Also Read: Audit Shows MVPDs Meeting Energy Efficiency Goals

“The group has achieved remarkable success both by driving down the energy used by set-top boxes and through innovations that have reduced the number of set-top boxes used by consumers,” said NCTA General Counsel Neal Goldberg in a statement.

One energy-reducing factor has been the increasing use of laptops, tablets and smart phones to access video as an alternative to powering up a set-top.

The next boost in efficiency levels will come in 2023 per a new (2021) agreement.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.