i3 - May/June 2018 - 41

By Elliot Grimm

Policy

G R E E N P O L I CY

More Efficient Tech
is a Win for Consumers

 W 

E+/Getty Images

ith tens of millions of U.S. homes watching television
every day, CTA and the Internet & Television
Association (NCTA) are working closely with the pay
TV industry to help save consumers money and reduce carbon
emissions. Earlier this year, CTA and NCTA announced the
renewal of the Set-Top Box Voluntary Agreement, first launched
in 2012, to further reduce the energy consumption of set-top
boxes (STB). The announcement shows the industry once again
taking strong leadership to improve the energy efficiency of our
home entertainment products and services.
According to the agreement's first
annual report in 2013, consumers saved
around $168 million in energy costs. In
2017, the agreements most recent
reported year, consumers saved nearly
$950 million. And even as these devices
gain more features and capabilities, they
currently use an average of 40 percent
less energy than the models purchased
prior to the voluntary agreement.
"DOE supports the commitment from
industry to improve energy efficiency, and
looks forward to the renewal of this voluntary agreement with our private sector
partners," said Secretary of Energy Rick
Perry about the renewal of the five-year
agreement. "Reducing federal regulatory
burdens is a priority for myself and this
Administration, and voluntary industry
standards such as this are an effective
alternative to government regulation."
Through the agreement's first four
years, more than $2 billion in energy
costs and 11.8 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were
avoided as a result of more efficient settop boxes. The energy saved is equal to
removing 2.5 million cars from the road
for an entire year.
The agreement's outstanding results
were also recognized when it was
named a 2016 Environmental Leader
Project of the Year. The judges cited the
initiative's success in establishing a
C TA . t e c h / i 3

collaborative effort that significantly
reduced the industry's impact on the
environment while saving consumers
hundreds of millions of dollars.

A Significant Benefit

One of the key advantages of voluntary
agreements is how parties can deploy new
features and equipment without advance
permission. This, in essence, enables manufacturers to adopt new energy allowances
that apply to future models more quickly
than under a traditional regulatory
approach. Doug Johnson, vice president of
technology policy at CTA, calls the
renewed agreement "a successful publicprivate partnership that accommodates
both rapid technological change and significant energy efficiency goals."
Beyond set-top boxes, a new CTA
report found that while the number of

Beyond STBs, a new
CTA report found
that while the number of tech devices
in our homes has
increased, their
share of total energy
use is steadily
shrinking.

tech devices in our homes has increased,
their share of total energy use is steadily
shrinking. Today, U.S. households' consumer tech devices consume 25 percent
less energy than they did in 2010. The
industry's success can be attributed to
investments in more lightweight materials and energy efficient technologies, as
well as the convergence of multi-function
devices and continuous innovation.
Explaining how policies need to be
matched with the nature of the industry
in question, Johnson adds, "Industry
innovation is rapidly and consistently
driving improvements in energy efficiency. The lightning-fast pace of
change in our sector means that we
must pursue flexible, innovationfriendly approaches to energy efficiency,
rather than static, traditional regulation
based on government mandates."
Voluntary agreements have been
established for set-top boxes in the
U.S., Canada, Europe and Australia;
for home internet equipment such as
modems and routers in the U.S. and
Europe; and for imaging equipment
and game consoles in Europe.
Transparency is assured through public reporting, independent testing and
accountability, and, in some cases, the
direct involvement of government,
efficiency advocates or other nonindustry stakeholders.
MAY/JUNE 2018

41


http://cta.tech/i3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i3 - May/June 2018

Contents
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover1
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover2
i3 - May/June 2018 - Contents
i3 - May/June 2018 - 2
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i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover3
i3 - May/June 2018 - Cover4
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