Comcast Cable Box Energy Efficiency 2012
|Filer||New York City Office of the Comptroller|
|Subject(s)||Energy Efficiency (products)|
|Resolved Clause Summary||Energy efficiency in cable set-top boxes|
|Status||Withdrawn; Company will address|
WHEREAS, a report by NRDC, "Better Viewing, Lower Energy Bills, and Less Pollution: Improving Efficiency of Television Set-Top Boxes” (June 2011), disclosed that boxes, owned and installed in U.S. homes by service providers, such as Comcast Corporation, consumed approximately 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to the annual output of nine average (500MW) coal-fired power plants, resulting in 16 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and costing households more than $3 billion annually; and
WHEREAS, when no one is watching television or recording shows, 66 percent of the power is wasted, so-called "vampire power"; and DVRs use about 40 percent more energy per year than non-DVR applliances; and
WHEREAS, Sky Broadcasting in Europe offers an energy efficient set-top box to households that draws 23 watts in "On" mode, 13 watts in “Sleep” mode, and defaults to less than 1 watt in "deep sleep" state each evening at 11:00 pm.; and
WHEREAS, under the EPA's Energy Star standards, TVs, and cable and satellite TV converter boxes are now required to use at least 40 percent less energy than comparable models; to address the “vampire power” issue, cable and satellite boxes must switch to a "deep sleep” mode while not in use to reduce energy consumption from 16 watts to 2 watts or less.
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors to publish a report, by September 2012, excluding proprietary information, disclosing the actions that the Company is taking to address
(1) Increasing public concern about the high costs to households from the inefficient consumption of electricity by the set-top boxes; and
(2) Evolving regulatory policies, such as the EPA's new Energy Star requirements for cable and satellite TV converter boxes.
The report should also include, as appropriate: (1) the Company’s efforts to accelerate the development and deployment of new energy efficient set-top boxes; and (2) the financial and reputational risks to the Company posed by continuing the installation of conventional set-top
A January 2011 survey, commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America, of public attitudes toward energy consumption of household appliances and support for government standards that set minimum levels of energy efficiency for household appliances, found that nearly all Americans think improved appliance efficiency is important for personal financial reasons-lowering their electric bills; and important for environmental reasons, because reducing the nation’s consumption of electricity helps to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Given increasing public concern and evolving regulatory requirements, we believe that the long-term interests of the Company and its shareholders would be served by its proactive pursuit and implementation of measures to address the high costs to households and the environmental impacts caused by the inefficient consumption of energy by set-top boxes.