While our cars, refrigerators, computers and air conditioning systems have been getting more efficient, our home electronics — particularly those components that interface with our cable providers — have been going in the other direction. The NY Times has an article on energy consumption associated with DVR’s and set-top cable boxes. These things can consume more energy than a refrigerator!
My favorite quote:
Mr. Wilson recalled that when he was on the California Energy Commission, he asked box makers why the hard drives were on all the time, using so much power. The answer: “Nobody asked us to use less.”
This is particularly striking because with the move away from CRT computer monitors and increased use of power-wise laptops, plug loads in commercial spaces have been plummeting over the last few years. But at home, your Tivo is chugging away. . .