Industry Set-Top Box Voluntary Agreement Initiative Wins Environmental Leader Top Project of the Year Award

Industry Set-Top Box Voluntary Agreement Initiative Wins Environmental Leader Top Project of the Year Award Debbie Fitzgerald

Debbie Fitzgerald
Technology Policy Director

Jun 28, 2016

Last week, at the 2016 Environmental Leader Conference, the Set-Top Box Voluntary Agreement (STB VA) received special recognition to reduce energy consumption related to set-top boxes in consumers’ homes.  The Environmental Leader Top Project of the Year Award is a program recognizing excellence in projects that provide companies and consumers with environmental, sustainability and energy management benefits.  The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished judges with experience in environmental management, headed by an unbiased judging coordinator from an outside Environmental Leader.

This is a team win for all the participants in the Voluntary Agreement:  service providers  - AT&T, Cablevision, CenturyLink, Charter (including Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks), Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, DISH, Verizon; manufacturers – Arris, Echostar Technologies, and Technicolor; energy conservation advocates – ACEEE, ASAP, and NRDC; and supporting organizations – CableLabs, CTA, and NCTA.

Established in 2012 and expanded in 2013, the STB Voluntary Agreement (VA) includes many commitments.  First and foremost, each service provider commits to ensuring that at least 90% of their STBs purchased each year will consume less energy than the allowances set forth in the VA.  The VA enlists an Independent Administrator to evaluate annual reports from each signatory to ensure compliance, and aggregates the information into a public annual report.  Every year, an independent auditor tests STBs in nearly 100 homes across the United States to verify the service providers’ reported values.  And, for consumers, each service provider must publicly report the energy usage of each STB model purchased since the beginning of 2014.  In addition, service providers are deploying whole-home DVR solutions and upgrading software on fielded models to enable light sleep to further reduce the energy usage.

CableLabs is proud to be a part of this historic initiative and to support all the signatories in the agreement.  CableLabs runs technical working groups to update the VA with new features and energy allowances, and works with specification teams and manufacturers to identify new ways to reduce energy consumption. The CableLabs Energy Lab supports testing and reporting of STB energy consumption, and CableLabs hosts the required public information for all of the cable signatories.  CableLabs also works on advanced home networking solutions to reduce the complexity and number of STBs required in a home.

The STB VA has already saved consumers over a billion dollars in energy costs and avoided over 6 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.  We are honored to receive this prestigious award and will continue to strive to make a difference in this industry.


Receiving the awards at the Environmental Leader 2016 conference are, from left to right: Doug Johnson (CTA), Gary Langille (DISH/Echostar Technologies), Paul Nastu (Environmental Leader), Debbie Fitzgerald (CableLabs), and Steve Mace (NCTA)