Upgrade to an ENERGY STAR® set-top box

Why? Most set-top boxes in homes today continuously operate at near full power, even when no one is actively watching or recording a show. Households with one HD DVR and a second HD set-top box may use more electricity than it takes to run a new, average-size ENERGY STAR® refrigerator.

Good to know:

  • Annually, a standard set-top box uses about 150 kWh, nearly as much electricity as an analog CRT television. High-end HD receivers with DVR use more than 350 kWh of electricity annually, more electricity than a desktop computer! Plugging your set-top box, television, and other home theater equipment into the same power strip and then turning that power strip on and off when you use the TV will save you from paying for energy you aren't using.
  • Plan to turn on your set-top box a few minutes before you intend to use it next, so it is fully rebooted for your enjoyment.
Go the extra mile:
  • Unplug your entire home entertainment system at the same time to save even more.
  • If you do use your DVR to record video while you are away, consider alternatives to your DVR, such as using your computer to watch shows on demand. This could save you a lot on energy costs.
  • If you have multiple DVRs in your home, consider paring down to one, or keeping the extra DVRs unplugged until they are needed.

Helpful terms: Like TVs, stereos and many other home electronics, cable and satellite set-top boxes consume a significant amount of energy when they are turned off but plugged in. This unexpected flow of energy is sometimes called a "phantom load".

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