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Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement: Proposal to Introduce Minimum Energy Performance Standards and Alternative Strategies for Set Top Boxes

03Oct

Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement: Proposal to Introduce Minimum Energy Performance Standards and Alternative Strategies for Set Top Boxes

Category: Set Top Boxes and Personal Video Recorders

Date: 03/10/2007

This Regulatory Impact Statement (2007/11) was prepared by EnergyConsult Pty Ltd for the Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee, which reports to the Ministerial Council on Energy. The MCE determines end-use equipment energy efficiency regulatory proposals involving all Australian Governments (Commonwealth, State and Territory) and the New Zealand Government.

This is a regulatory impact statement (RIS) proposing the introduction of common minimum energy performance standards (MEPS) in Australia and New Zealand for digital Set-Top Boxes (STBs). It was prepared and issued by the Equipment Energy Efficiency Committee (E3 Committee) under the Ministerial Council on Energy of the Australian federal, state and territory governments and the New Zealand Government.

Stakeholder submissions called for changes to that proposal and this RIS, taking account of those stakeholder submissions, represents the latest proposed recommendations of energy efficiency regulators to the Ministerial Council on Energy. An initial Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) of the proposal (E3 Committee 2007) was released in April 2007.

A digital STB may also be referred to as a digital television adaptor, decoder or receiver and is used to convert digital free-to-air (FTA) signals and subscription TV (STV) services to a signal compatible with the existing audiovisual display technology.

This regulatory proposal is for STBs capable of decoding video transport streams that are MPEG2 and without a recording function (i.e. without a hard drive). STBs were among a group of products identified for immediate action in the standby power program. As very few STBs have an €œoff switch, significant power is wasted even when the device is put into passive standby mode by the remote control. Even more power is wasted when the device is in not used but left to operate in active standby mode.

A plan was published by the Australian Government in March 2004 for reducing the standby power of STBs, however comments received on this plan suggested that mandatory regulations that examined all modes of use, including on mode, might better meet the Australian and New Zealand Governments efficiency goals.