January 17, 2017
// News

Pay TV Service Providers and Manufacturers Announce Set-Top Box Energy Efficiency Agreement


Voluntary Agreement Will Reduce Total Annual Energy Consumption and Avoid over 100,000 Tonnes of CO2 Annually

Ottawa, Jan. 17, 2017 — Canadian Pay TV service providers (specifically, cable, direct-to-home satellite and IPTV providers) along with set-top box manufacturers have finalized a voluntary agreement, committing themselves to improving the energy efficiency of set-top boxes from coast-to-coast-to-coast. With this voluntary agreement, reached in consultation with federal and provincial governments, utilities and supporting organizations, it is expected that total annual energy consumption in Canada will be reduced and annual carbon dioxide emissions will be cut by over 100,000 tonnes.1 This is equivalent to the emissions of over 44,000 sub-compact new vehicles driving 15,000 km/yr.2

At least 90 percent of all new set-top boxes purchased beginning in 2017 are expected to meet the energy efficiency standards set out in the voluntary agreement, benefitting a large number of Canadian consumers. The voluntary agreement, along with complementary measures such as the ENERGY STAR® program, is expected to reduce the total annual energy consumption of Canadian set-top boxes from 3.4 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2016 to 2.7 TWh in 2021.3 The energy expected to be saved is equivalent to the consumption of 60,000 homes. The voluntary agreement will help track these savings through annual reporting and audit mechanisms.

Voluntary agreement signatories to date include Pay TV service providers Bell, Cogeco Communications, Inc., Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications Inc., and Vidéotron; which collectively serve more than 88% of the Pay TV market.4 Manufacturers ARRIS and EchoStar Technologies are also signatories.

The new commitments were made through an industry-led collaboration among the signatory Canadian Pay TV service providers and their set-top box manufacturers, with support from Natural Resources Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Energy, the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines, Quebec’s Ministère de l’Énergie et des Ressources naturelles, and Manitoba’s Department of Growth, Enterprise and Trade. The agreement was also formulated with the support of provincial utilities BC Hydro, Independent Electricity System Operator, Manitoba Hydro, SaskPower, and Hydro Québec; as well as supportive organizations the Consumer Technology Association, CableLabs and CSA Group.

Set-top boxes combine hardware components with software programming to receive digital television and related services from Pay TV service providers. The voluntary agreement will enable Pay TV service providers and their manufacturers to work together on efficient, high-performing set-top boxes that keep pace with technological improvements and Pay TV service innovations, delivering consumer and environmental benefits.

The typical set-top box is deployed for an average of about six years.  However, subscribers who own an older-model set-top box may be able to realize energy savings by replacing them.  The agreement has a public reporting mechanism that will help subscribers identify the efficiency level of new set-top boxes that they may wish to consider renting or purchasing.

This voluntary agreement between service providers and manufacturers supports the federal, provincial, and territorial governments’ broader efforts to help Canadians and the environment by increasing the energy efficiency of products and equipment. A steering committee composed of industry representatives will help direct implementation of the voluntary agreement, assist signatories in meeting their targets, and determine next-level energy efficiency improvement for set-top boxes.

More information about the new voluntary agreement can be found here: http://www.energyefficiency-va.ca.

Supportive Quotes

“We’re thrilled to see there are now voluntary agreements for set-top box energy efficiency standards on both sides of the borders. We believe this agreement helps promote innovation and conservation in this product category and demonstrates our industry’s commitment to provide Canadians with products that reduce energy consumption and save money.”

— Doug Johnson, Vice-President, Policy, Consumer Technology Association

“CEEVA is an important step for Pay TV service providers and manufacturers in Canada to work collectively toward improving energy efficiency of set-top boxes while keeping the door open for innovation. Over the past three years, CableLabs has helped the US Pay TV industry reduce energy consumption by 9.3 TWh and avoid 6.5 million metric tons of CO2 through a similar voluntary agreement5, and we look forward to helping the Canadian Pay TV industry succeed in this effort as well.”

— Debbie Fitzgerald, Principal Architect and Director of the Energy Program, CableLabs

“We all have a role to play in reducing emissions. These companies are voluntarily ensuring that Canadian consumers save money on their energy bills, while reducing their energy consumption. Collaborative agreements such as this can lower Canada’s annual carbon emissions and help meet its climate change goals – and that is something our Government is proud to highlight.”

— Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources

“Videotron is proud to be part of this partnership, which brings the entire industry together in a concrete effort for the environment. It is consistent with Videotron’s longstanding green commitment and complements the many initiatives we have taken in recent years to promote environmentally responsible practices on the part of our employees and customers alike.”

— Manon Brouillette, President and CEO of Videotron

“Energy conservation is one of the single most important actions we can all take to reduce our electricity costs. I want to commend Canada’s television service providers and manufacturers on reaching this landmark agreement to encourage market transformation and household energy savings in Ontario and across the country. We look forward to the successful implementation of this agreement and achievement of its efficiency targets.”

— Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy

“Congratulations to service providers and manufacturers for reaching a voluntary Set-Top Box Energy Efficiency Agreement. The Agreement represents many months of hard work and is a step in the right direction for helping B.C. consumers to reduce energy bills.”

— Bill Bennett, BC Minister of Energy and Mines

“Bell is pleased to work with government and industry partners to increase the energy efficiency of television set-top boxes for Canadians. Bell is committed to implementing technological innovations that enable energy savings in our networks, operations, and consumer and business product offerings.”

— Rizwan Jamal, President of Bell Residential Services

About Consumer Technology Association

Consumer Technology Association (CTA) TM is the trade association representing the $292 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs. More than 2,200 companies – 80 percent are small businesses and startups; others are among the world’s best known brands – enjoy the benefits of CTA membership including policy advocacy, market research, technical education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CTA also owns and produces CES® – the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. Profits from CES are reinvested into CTA’s industry services.

About CableLabs

CableLabs is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to creating innovative ideas that significantly impact our cable operator members’ business. CableLabs also serves to define interoperable solutions among our members and their technology vendors in order to drive scale, reduce costs, and create competition in the supply chain. CableLabs’ membership is comprised of the major cable operators worldwide including the eight largest cable operators in Canada.

French Translation of Press Release

Annonce d’un accord relatif à l’efficacité énergétique des décodeurs des fournisseurs de service de télévision par abonnement et des fabricants

1 Government of Canada. Canada’s Second Biennial Report on Climate Change, 2016. Emissions Factor = 153 tonnes/GWh from 2013 data.

2 Based on a common sub-compact 1.5 litre sedan listed in the 2016 NRCan Fuel Consumption Guide.

3 Consultants working with the CEEVA group estimating the Canadian market, determined that along with complementary measures such as the ENERGY STAR® program, it is expected to reduce the total annual energy consumption of Canadian set-top boxes from the 3.4 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2016 to 2.7 TWh in 2021.

4 Aggregate residential video subscribers reported in 2015, based on https://www.statista.com/statistics/431299/tv-subscribers-canada-corporation/, divided by the total Pay TV subscriber count reported in http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/crtc-cord-cutting-cable-1.3676769

5 http://www.energy-efficiency.us/library/pdf/SetTopBox-AnnualReport-2015.pdf



Elliot Grimm

Darryl Konynenbelt

Wayne Surdam

About CableLabs

As the leading innovation and R&D lab for the cable industry, CableLabs creates global impact through its member companies around the world and its subsidiary, Kyrio. With a state-of-the art research and innovation facility and collaborative ecosystem with thousands of vendors, CableLabs delivers impactful network technologies for the entire industry.