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EPA Working to Make Digital Television Technology Energy Efficient

Release Date: 01/31/2007
Contact Information: Enesta Jones, (202) 564-4355 /
(Washington, D.C. - Jan. 31, 2007) In anticipation of the nationwide changeover to digital television signals in February 2009, EPA’s Energy Star program is announcing new specifications that are expected to cut the energy use of digital-to-analog converter boxes, or DTAs, by more than 70 percent.

“The Energy Star DTA specification is another example that through coordinated efforts with our partners, we can create high-quality products that are also energy efficient and affordable,” said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “I applaud the work of our partners in the development of a technology that will improve energy efficiency and protect the environment.”

It is estimated that Americans will purchase 22 million DTAs to continue to receive over-the-air broadcasts after the Feb. 18, 2009, conversion from analog to digital broadcasts. By some estimates, DTAs could consume more than 3 billion kWh/year and cost Americans $270 million more per year in higher electricity bills.

However, with more energy-efficient designs and features that automatically power a product down after periods of inactivity, Energy Star-qualified DTAs will use substantially less energy than current models sold worldwide. If all DTAs meet the Energy Star specification, Americans could save 13 billion kWh and over $1 billion in energy costs, and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 1 million cars.

DTAs are not yet on the market in the United States and will not be sold until late 2008, shortly before the digital transition. EPA worked with stakeholders -- including manufacturers, states, and large retailers – in advance of this transition, to ensure that energy efficiency is factored into product design. DTAs on the worldwide market today consume about 17 watts in on mode, and 8 watts in standby mode.  Products qualifying for Energy Star must meet specifications of 8 and 1 watt, respectively, and automatically power down after extended periods of inactivity.

The National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) is planning to administer a coupon program to help households without digital-ready televisions purchase DTA converter boxes. Go to to learn more about digital television adapters and this coupon program. 

Energy Star was introduced by EPA in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency. Today, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, the program offers businesses and consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect the environment for future generations. Last year alone, American with the help of Energy Star saved $12 billion in energy bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those of 23 million vehicles.

More information about the final Energy Star specification for DTAs: