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Energy use of set-top boxes and telephony products in the U.S.

  • Author(s): Rosen, Karen B.
  • Meier, Alan K.
  • Zandelin, Stephan
  • et al.
Abstract

The goal of this investigation was to estimate the 1999 energy consumption of set-top boxes and telephony products in the U.S. residential sector. Results of this study will be used to identify new energy conservation opportunities and to align programs with those opportunities. We conducted a bottom-up analysis for set-top boxes and telephony products using our own power measurements and stock and usage estimates from secondary sources. The most common set-top boxes in U.S. homes in 1999 were analog cable boxes, digital cable boxes, wireless receivers, and game consoles. According to these measurements, analog cable boxes and wireless receivers draw between 10 and 15 watts, while digital cable boxes draw between 20 and 25 watts in both the Active and Standby modes. Video games used less than 2 watts in Standby mode, and about 8 watts when Active. We estimate that set-top boxes accounted for 0.7 percent of residential electricity use in 1999. Our investigation of telephony products included answering machines, cordless phones, cordless phone answering machine combination units, and mobile phone chargers. Answering machines, cordless phones, and combination units use between 2 and 3 watts in both the Active and Standby modes. Mobile phone chargers use about 1 watt in standby. We estimate that these telephony products account for 0.5 percent of U.S. residential electricity consumption. Together, set-tops and telephony constituted 1.2 percent of U.S. residential electricity consumption in 1999. Standby power use accounted for about 60 percent of this energy use. The combined total energy use of the products investigated for this study and those researched previously for this series of reports account for about 6.6 percent of residential electricity use in the U.S.

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