Everyone knows that hockey fans love gear. Fans swarm the arena on game day with hats, scarves, flags, masks, and jerseys emblazoned with their team’s logo. But even fans watching the game at home need the proper equipment to feel like they’re part of the game. Big screen, high-definition TVs make the action more vibrant than ever, and expanded cable packages allow viewers access to out-of-market games that were once unavailable.
This technology has made it a great time to be a hockey fan, but not everyone is aware of the energy cost associated with their TV and cable box. ENERGY STAR products are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Hockey fans interested in saving money on their energy bills, while protecting the environment should always look for the ENERGY STAR.
The amount of energy use by cable boxes may come as a particular surprise, considering they are such small devices. A home with two set-top boxes is using approximately the same amount of electricity each year as is required to run a new refrigerator, roughly 550 kWh/year. In 2010, the electricity required to operate all the cable boxes in the US was equal to the annual household electricity consumption of the entire state of Maryland.
A certified ENERGY STAR set-top box is on average 45 percent more efficient than a conventional model, and can save over $80 over its lifetime. If all set-top boxes sold in the US were ENERGY STAR certified, the energy cost savings would grow to more than $4 billion each year, preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from nearly 5 million vehicles. Next time you’re considering an upgrade, be sure to ask your cable provider about ENERGY STAR.
Of course, the TV market has changed dramatically over the last five years. Old-fashioned tube televisions have quite quickly become a thing of the past, replaced by larger high-definition screens, powered with liquid crystal display (LCD), plasma, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), and other new technologies. More than 19 million flat-screen televisions greater than 40 inches are expected to ship this year. While these new products are no doubt a big improvement, they also represent a considerable increase in energy use from the old tube TVs they are replacing.
EPA’s ENERGY STAR label has kept pace with this rapidly changing market. In 2008, ENERGY STAR-qualified large screen models consumed as much as 500 watts while in active mode- again as much as a refrigerator. Only three years later, even the largest ENERGY STAR models consume just over 100 watts, and in 2012 new requirements were put in place that further lower this level.
Hockey coverage has come a long way in regards to the way it is filmed, broadcast and viewed. Fans can now see every slapshot, stick save, and body check for every game in vivid detail. Next time you need to upgrade your gear, look for the ENERGY STAR to save money, energy, and protect the environment.
About Energy Star: The NHL is the first professional sports league to partner with EPA ENERGY STAR. Launched in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency, ENERGY STAR is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through superior energy efficiency. Over the past 20 years, with the help of ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved over $230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.8 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 65 different kinds of products with more than 5 billion sold.