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In-Home Energy Consumption of Tech Devices Down 25% Since 2010, Says CTA Study

Arlington, VA – December 13, 2017 – A new Consumer Technology Association (CTA) study, Energy Consumption of Consumer Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2017, finds the number of tech devices in U.S. homes has increased 21 percent since 2010, but those devices now account for 25 percent less residential energy than they did then. This landmark energy efficiency achievement is due to the consumer tech industry’s investments in lightweight materials and energy efficient technologies, as well as the convergence of multi-functional devices and continuous innovation.

“This study shows the increasing momentum to create consumer products that promote smarter lifestyles and lower energy consumption, while minimizing our impact on climate change,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Much of what we’ll see at CES 2018 will showcase what the study reflects: lighter, smaller, energy-efficient products that can do more things and move faster than ever – and need less energy to do so. Today’s consumers can choose from a countless range of products that save energy and money and help prevent climate change.”

The technology industry’s trend of building devices with better functionality and lower power requirements has been key to increasing energy efficiency. According to the study, there are now nearly 3.4 billion consumer tech devices across the country, consuming an estimated 143 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity annually – compared to 2010, when 2.9 billion devices (21 percent fewer than today) in U.S. households used 193 TWh of electricity (35 percent more than today).

Televisions are among consumer technology’s major energy efficiency success stories. Since at least 2006, TVs have accounted for the majority of consumer technology’s overall energy use in U.S. homes. However, innovations in designs and displays have decreased TVs’ annual in-home energy consumption dramatically, declining 30 percent from 2013 to 2017 – the average cost to power a TV in the U.S. is now less than five cents a day. During the same time period, set-top box energy use has dropped nearly 20 percent. According to a recent CTA study, from 2008 to 2015, about 80% of TVs shipped have met or exceeded the then-current ENERGY STAR requirements.

Through the Voluntary Agreement for Ongoing Improvements in the Energy Efficiency of Set-Top Boxes, the pay TV and consumer technology industries committed to meeting more efficient energy standards for newly procured set-top boxes. The agreement is estimated to have saved consumers more than $2.1 billion since it was signed by the major pay TV service providers in 2013, and nearly 99 percent of new set-top boxes meet its energy efficiency standards. A similar industry agreement for home internet equipment has increased the energy efficiency of more than 98 percent of consumer broadband equipment purchased and sold in the U.S. in 2016.

“CTA’s study confirms that voluntary, market-driven initiatives are the most effective means of promoting – and achieving – significant energy efficiency gains,” said Doug Johnson, vice president of technology policy, CTA. “Industry innovation is rapidly and consistently driving improvements in energy efficiency. The lightning-fast pace of change in our sector means that we must pursue flexible, innovation-friendly approaches to energy efficiency, rather than static, traditional regulation based on government mandates.”

The Energy Consumption of Consumer Electronics in U.S. Homes in 2017 was produced by the Fraunhofer USA Center for Sustainable Energy Systems CSE to quantify the electricity consumption of CE products in U.S. households thus far in 2017. Devices covered in depth in the study include televisions, video game consoles, set-top boxes (cable, satellite, telco and stand-alone), computers and peripherals, computer speakers, monitors, home audio, smartphones, tablets and networking equipment.

CTA supports consumer education on energy efficiency and e-cycling via the website, where consumers can find helpful tips to help reduce their energy costs. A new award at CES, the CES Eureka Park Climate Change Innovators, will recognize exhibitors in Eureka Park who are placing bets on their technology’s ability to cut greenhouse gas emissions if widely implemented. Winners will be announced at CES 2018 on Thursday, January 11, at the CTA Stage in the Las Vegas Convention Center.