The biggest waster of energy in your home isn’t your fridge, central air conditioning system, or even your LCD television.
According to a new study from the Natural Resources Defense Council, DVRs and digital cable boxes consume $3 billion in electricity per year in the United States — and that 66 percent of that power is wasted when no one is watching and shows are not being recorded.
Just to put in in perspective, experts say that’s more power than the state of Maryland uses over 12 months.
- There are approximately 160 million set-top boxes installed in U.S. homes. Almost all of these boxes are owned and installed by the service provider (e.g. Comcast, Time Warner, Cox Communications, DISH Network, DirecTV, Verizon and AT&T, etc)
- Today’s set-top boxes operate at near full power even when the consumer is neither watching nor recording a show. As a nation, we spend $2 billion each year to power these boxes when they are not being actively used.
- Digital Video Recorders (DVRs) are growing in popularity and frequently replace set-top boxes without recording capability. DVRs typically use around 40 percent more energy per year than their non-DVR counterparts.
The worst part about the energy-sucking nature of these digital devices is that it’s absolutely not necessary.
Similar products in Europe have the ability to automatically go into standby mode when not in use, cutting power drawn by half. They can also go into an optional “deep sleep,” which can reduce energy consumption by about 95 percent compared with when the machine is active (NY Times).
Even though these European companies are willing to ship their products to American television providers, the U.S. companies often refuse because they’re worried that the low-energy boxes will result in service interruptions. American consumers, they say, will not tolerate having to wait a few minutes for their sleeping cable box to boot up.
via NY Times
Image Credit: uberculture