The US government, the CEA (you know, the group that runs CES) and pay-TV providers want to save consumers $1 billion annually with a new voluntary standard for set-top box (STB) energy-efficiency. By curtailing phantom power usage and implementing a pair of sleep modes for periods of device inactivity, these non-regulatory guidelines could save enough energy each year to power some 700,000 homes. According to the industry announcement, many cable and satellite providers are already on-board, with Verizon implementing a light-sleep option in certain FiOS boxes sold starting January 1st, 2014. Still, the group expressed some concern that scaling back an STB's power might negatively impact the user experience. What good is a lower electric bill when your DVR takes forever to resume from standby?

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US Energy Department outlines efficiency standards for set-top boxes, Verizon already on board