From the Morning Bridge today:
Whether DirecTV receivers consume "astronomical amounts of energy" or not, isn't that the end user's problem? If I want to leave my lights on all night, should the government step in to tell me I'm wasting energy, only to be followed by regulating my light usage (probably by mandating light switches that don't operate after midnight or something)?
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA) sent a letter to the major cable and satellite pay-TV providers urging them to phase out what she calls "always on" STBs that waste energy and increase consumer utility bills. The Senator says if the industry doesn't take the initiative to develop and distribute more energy-efficient models on its own the Federal government will do so on its behalf.
Citing recent studies that show STBs "consume astronomical amounts of energy," Feinstein says energy hungry set-tops and DVRs are among the largest consumers of electricity in the average American home. The problem, she says, is that current models are not equipped with adequate stand-by or sleep functions that could reduce power usage during down times. As a result, STBs being sold or leased by pay-TV providers operate at near-full power 24/7 costing upwards of $3B annually... $2B of which is incurred while the boxes aren't being used.
"I strongly encourage you to work with your competitors to stop the distribution of 'always on' set-top boxes in California," she said. "If such an initiative does not materialize, the Federal government will have an obligation to regulate the efficiency of these boxes in the interest of American consumers."
Seriously, this nanny state "we know better than you" or "it's for your own good" mentality is beyond ridiculous. The more these regulations are implemented, the fewer freedoms we possess.
Make more energy efficient DVRs? Sure, why not? But let competition and the market do it. Let company ABC make set top boxes (STBs) that they claim are more efficient and consumers may flock to that manufacturer on their own. Don't have the frickin' government dictate everything.