Your Cable Box is An Energy Hog
National Box Use Equal to Total Maryland Consumption
According to the New York Times
, cable boxes and DVRs are among some of the heaviest consumers of electricity in the home, and when bundled with large-screen televisions can challenge the biggest home energy hogs. One high-definition DVR and one high-definition cable box use an average of 446 kilowatt hours a year, roughly 10% more than a 21-cubic-foot energy-efficient refrigerator, notes the Times
. The paper is pulling their data from a new study by the Natural Resources Defense Council
(pdf), which claims that in 2010, set-top boxes in the United States consumed approximately 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, which is equivalent to the annual output of nine average (500 MW) coal-fired power plants. Part of the problem is many older set tops are constantly running, but the study found that improved box design could reduce overall box energy use by between 30-50% by 2020.