Energy vampire hunters: ENERGY STAR

Energy vampires—products that stay on and quietly suck energy from your household bill—are being hunted down and banished all together, thanks to the U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR latest projects: set-top boxes and small network equipment.

A Catalyst for Change: ENERGY STAR Set-top Boxes

Have you ever thought about how much energy is used by your cable or satellite box? Most standard set-top boxes (STBs) use as much power when not in use as when they are playing/recording. In 2008, cable and satellite boxes consumed 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, as much as the entire state of Maryland! ENERGY STAR saw great opportunity to help families save energy and money with their set top boxes, and in 2008 launched a specification that required ENERGY STAR labeled products to use 45% less energy. Thanks to ENERGY STAR and its partners, in 2013 the energy consumption associated with these STB products has been dramatically reduced, and nearly 90% of cable/satellite boxes are ENERGY STAR certified.

While the average person does not pick out their cable/satellite box, this is a great story to show how ENERGY STAR brought together the titans of the cable/satellite TV industry to make significant changes to help American families save energy, save money and protect the environment. When the average reader considers how long their cable/satellite box is on (all the time), the savings potential with an ENERGY STAR certified STB becomes very real. ENERGY STAR certified STBs delivered nearly $450 million in consumer savings and a reduction of 6 billion pounds of greenhouse gases last year alone.

A new product category earns EPA’s ENERGY STAR: Small Network Equipment

Like many electronic products in the home and office, small network IT equipment like modems and routers are workhorses—they are always on even when not in use, as their dependability is key to the performance of any home or office.

Because they are always on, small network products are often an unnoticeable energy drain. But with the new specification from ENERGY STAR, labeled products will now use 20% less energy while still connecting people to the internet with ease. If all small network equipment sold in the U.S. were ENERGY STAR certified, energy savings would grow to more than $590 million each year.

While one does not often think about the energy used by their cable box, modem or router, these devices are always on and are a real drain on your utility bill. For more information, please check out these fact sheets on our website:

Small Network Equipment: