Tech Today w/ Ken May

Today, the US Department of Energy announced an agreement with a diverse group of NGOs that would see significant improvements to a poorly recognized energy sink: the set-top box that receives and controls TV programming. The agreement, while voluntary, commits service providers to using more efficient hardware through to 2017. Although the individual savings will be small, the cumulative impact is massive: a billion dollars in electricity saved by consumers and five million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. The agreement, brokered by the EPA, brings together a diverse coalition of groups. On the environmental side, we have the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Appliance Standards Awareness Project. Representing industry are the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which gets its funding from a variety of sources (including utilities), was also at the party. The standards they’ve developed will cover all existing delivery methods: telecom, cable, and satellite. It won’t be written into legislation, but an independent third party will verify that hardware meets the agreement’s specifications each year between now and 2017. The exact details of the energy-saving changes aren’t specified in the announcement , but the electronics in the devices can get quite hot, and statements made by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) suggest that they often remain active even when the television is off. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments        

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Efficient set-top boxes to save $1 billion on energy annually by 2017

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