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EPA Announces New Energy Star Specifications for Boxes that Deliver Television and Video Content


Today, EPA announced a new specification for boxes that deliver television and video content, also called set-top boxes. Effective Jan. 1, 2009, new cable, satellite, and telecom set-top boxes that carry the Energy Star will be at least 30 percent more efficient than conventional models. The new specification is expected to prevent greenhouse gas emissions while allowing consumers to continue to enjoy high-quality content.

“With approximately 148 million set-top boxes installed in the United States and 23 million more set-top boxes expected to ship in 2008, EPA is challenging manufacturers and service providers to deliver boxes that not only offer the newest features, but are also energy-efficient,” said Robert Meyers principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

After this new specification goes into effect, if all set-top boxes sold in the United States meet the Energy Star requirements, the savings in energy costs will grow to about $2 billion each year and greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by the equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions from about 2.5 million vehicles annually.

For the first time, EPA will also partner with the cable, satellite and telecommunications companies that deliver content to consumers. As Energy Star partners, these companies agree to improve the energy efficiency of a significant number of set-top boxes by offering newly qualified boxes to subscribers or by upgrading boxes already in homes to help subscribers reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 50 different kinds of products, new homes as well as schools and commercial buildings. Products that have earned the Energy Star prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy-efficiency specifications set by the government. In 2007 alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved more than $16 billion on their utility bills while reducing the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 27 million vehicles. For more information, visit:


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