Cable Set Top Boxes Are The Silent Power Hog In Many Homes
So says a report in the Los Angeles Times that calls attention to these unassuming power hogs. Outside of air conditioning, they're now the single biggest energy hog in many homes. Part of the reason is because they're running even when you're asleep.
Image Source: Flickr (Andrew Currie)
Cable boxes with a built-in digital video recorder (DVR) are even worse. These devices consume as much as 35 watts of power, which translates into about $8 per month for someone living in southern California. Surprisingly, these devices consume nearly as much electricity when turned off as they do when turned on.
Andrew McAllister, a member of the California Energy Commission, told the LAT that this is a "classic case of market failure," adding that consumers have "zero information and zero control over the devices they get."
Keep in mind we're just talking about set-top boxes. If you factor in all the other electronic gadgets we collectively use today -- PCs, smartphones, and so forth -- the power bill comes for Americans is more than $12 billion a year.