Coercive Government Strikes Deal On Cable Box Energy Efficiency

Did you know your cable/satellite dish box was an enormous sucker of power?

(Grist) When you turn off your cable box, you may think it isn’t using any power. In fact, every electronic device uses some electricity as long as it’s plugged in. These energy suckers are known as “vampires” and they account for a tremendous amount of energy waste in the U.S.: over 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, costing Americans more than $11 billion.

Wasted energy means more than just wasted money when you pay your electric bill. All too often, it also means that the coal-burning plant where your electricity comes from is belching more greenhouse gases and particulate pollution into the air.

Aaaaaaand, of course that “vampire energy” causes Bad Weather. You knew that had to be on the docket. But, for those of us who live in Reality Land and aren’t part of the Cult Of Manbearpig, vampire energy still stinks. It wastes our money. But, the makers of the boxes are changing, according to a DOE press release

These new standards — developed through a non-regulatory agreement between the pay-TV industry, the consumer electronics industry and energy efficiency advocates — will improve set-top box efficiency by 10 to 45 percent (depending on box type) by 2017, and are expected to save more than $1 billion on consumer energy bills annually.

The set-top box efficiency standards announced today will ultimately save enough electricity each year to power 700,000 homes. The standards will also avoid more than five million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

This seems like a good deal. Except, let’s face it, when the DOE comes calling, you can bet it is anything close to “voluntary” changes. These businesses surely made these changes to avoid regulation and because they were scared of the unhinged “environmental” groups

The standard that takes effect Jan. 1 was organized by the industry itself last year in an attempt to stave off regulation. But the government and environmental groups pushed for even more, resulting in Monday’s agreement. The Energy Department, in exchange for the signal providers’ agreement, has dropped its plans to issue efficiency rules.

Groups that signed the agreement include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Appliance Standards Awareness Project and two industry trade groups, the Consumer Electronics Association and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association.

And there you have it: coercive government acting at the behest of groups like the NRDC, a group that produces nothing but hot air, have essentially forced groups to comply with standards ahead of regulation.

Do I want a better box? You betcha. But not at the barrel of government bullying, backed by enviro-weenie groups. And, there is the question as to whether these new energy efficient boxes will cost more, and we know that the costs are always passed on to the consumer.

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4 Responses to “Coercive Government Strikes Deal On Cable Box Energy Efficiency”

  1. Jeffery says:

    So you’re saying the industry would not have made the changes except for pressure from the government and the enviro-weenies.

    “The standard that takes effect Jan. 1 was organized by the industry itself last year in an attempt to stave off regulation. But the government and environmental groups pushed for even more, resulting in Monday’s agreement. The Energy Department, in exchange for the signal providers’ agreement, has dropped its plans to issue efficiency rules.”

    Corporations are obligated to try to maximize profit and value for its shareholders, not make long term environmental or climate policy. That’s for the government to do (recall that we are the government), saving consumers a billion a year and reducing CO2 emissions to boot. Sounds like a win-win.

  2. gitarcarver says:

    So you’re saying the industry would not have made the changes except for pressure from the government and the enviro-weenies.

    Some level of changes were being made absent of the government.

    We don’t know how much those changes would have saved consumers. In fact, no one can factually say how much energy is being saved or how much CO2 emissions are reduced.

    It is all fuzzy math.

    The point that Teach is making is that there was no need for government intervention, yet the government stepped into what is a market decision.

    That is not a “win win” for anyone. That is a loss for every one.

  3. […] or spurring renewables. It’s easy to forget another significant piece of the puzzle — energy efficiency. In its 2013 scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks the most […]

  4. So you’re saying the industry would not have made the changes except for pressure from the government and the enviro-weenies.

    Please point out where I said that.

    The industry had already been making changes, but never got a chance to truly implement serious change before Government decided it would coerce with the backing of unhinged enviro groups. I think I was pretty clear about that in the post.

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