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DOE Withdraws Proposed Rulemaking (Test Procedure) and Proposed Coverage Determination (Energy Conservation Standard) for Set-Top Boxes

December 23, 2013 - 12:00am

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The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued pre-publication Federal Register notices withdrawing the notice of proposed rulemaking for a test procedure for set-top boxes and the proposed coverage determination for set-top boxes and network equipment. DOE, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (ASAP), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) announced non-regulatory energy efficiency standards for pay-TV set-top boxes that will result in significant energy savings for more than 90 million U.S. homes. These new standards—developed through a non-regulatory agreement between the pay-TV industry, the consumer electronics industry and energy efficiency advocates —will improve set-top box efficiency by 10 to 45 percent (depending on box type) by 2017, and are expected to save more than $1 billion on consumer energy bills annually. The set-top box efficiency standards announced today will ultimately save enough electricity each year to power 700,000 homes. The standards will also avoid more than five million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. As consumer demand for digital video recorders and high-definition set-top boxes grows, actual consumer savings are likely to be even greater. The introduction of whole-home devices will also further reduce the overall energy footprint. The agreement, which runs through 2017, covers all types of set-top boxes from pay-TV providers, including cable, satellite and telephone companies. The agreement also requires the pay-TV industry to publicly report model-specific set-top box energy use and requires an annual audit of service providers by an independent auditor to ensure boxes are performing at the efficiency levels specified in the agreement. The Energy Department also retains its authority to test set-top boxes under the ENERGY STAR verification program, which provides another verification tool to measure the efficiency of set-top boxes. For information regarding the withdrawals of the proposed rulemaking and proposed determination, please visit DOE's Appliance and Equipment Standards' rulemaking webpage. To view the non-regulatory agreement announced today, click here

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