NCTA, CEA Set-Top Energy Coalition Elects Officers

Comcast’s Reynolds to Chair Power-Conservation Steering Committee

The set-top box energy conservation initiative led by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and the Consumer Electronics Association on Friday created a steering committee that will be chaired by Steve Reynolds, Comcast’s senior vice president of premises technology.

With the voluntary Set-Top Box Energy Conservation Agreement announced by the NCTA and CEA announced last December the groups said they expect to achieve annual savings of $1.5 billion for American consumers.

The other officers elected to the steering committee, which is designed to ensure that the coalition’s commitments are being met and provide a forum to discuss additional options for energy savings, are: secretary Jeff Dygert, AT&T executive director of public policy; and treasurer Steve Dulac, director of engineering at DirecTV.

In addition to electing officers, the group discussed implementing tracking guidelines and other ways to measure and report the results of the agreement, according to the NCTA and CEA.

The companies that signed the agreement were Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Verizon, Charter, AT&T, Cablevision, Bright House Networks and CenturyLink, and manufacturers Arris Group, Cisco Systems, EchoStar Technologies and Motorola Mobility (which is in the process of being acquired by Arris).

The U.S. Department of Energy continues to explore a rulemaking about setting standards for set-top boxes. In any event, according to a joint blog post Monday by the NCTA and CEA, “our industries will be delivering results that will achieve significant energy reductions and savings for consumers, while protecting innovation and competition.”

Under the voluntary agreement, starting this year, at least 90% of all new set-tops bought and deployed by operators will meet EPA Energy Star 3.0 levels, which the EPA says are 45% more efficient than boxes that don't meet that standard. In addition, MSOs will use "light sleep" mode software for more than 10 million DVRs already in use, and satellite operators will include a power-down feature in 90% of the set-tops they deploy. A “deep sleep" mode is also being tested for next-generation set-tops.