U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office – Appliance & Equipment Standards
Set-top Boxes & Network Devices
This page describes rulemaking activities for set-top boxes and network equipment. DOE is initiating a rulemaking and data collection process to develop a potential test procedure and energy conservation standard for set-top boxes and network equipment. To facilitate this process, the Department of Energy has issued a Request for Information (RFI) in the Federal Register. DOE has gathered data, identifying several issues associated with currently available industry test procedures, efficiency standards and energy use data for STBs on which DOE is particularly interested in receiving comment. DOE welcomes written comments from the public on any subject within the scope of this rulemaking (including topics not raised in this RFI).
The Department of Energy is amending its rulemaking schedule for set-top boxes to suspend the issuance of a proposed rule for a regulatory test procedure or energy conservation standard until after October 1, 2012. This suspension will allow industry representatives and energy efficiency advocates time to negotiate a non-regulatory agreement to improve the energy efficiency of set-top boxes. If successful, a non-regulatory agreement could become effective quickly. DOE will provide technical support to ensure that any non-regulatory agreement sufficiently addresses the public interest in improving set-top box energy efficiency. DOE will also continue testing and evaluating the energy efficiency of set-top boxes in support of developing a DOE test procedure. DOE will undertake analysis in preparation for a regulatory standard in the event a non-regulatory agreement cannot be reached or to cover any class of set-top boxes not covered by a non-regulatory agreement.
DOE held a public meeting as part of this RFI on January 26, 2012 at 9 a.m.at the U.S. Department of Energy Forrestal Building, Room 8E-089, 1000 Independence Avenue, SW., Washington DC 20585. The public meeting provide an overview of the rule-making process and offered an opportunity for stakeholders to make oral presentations on the rulemaking process.
Stakeholders are also welcome to schedule a meeting with DOE to discuss this rulemaking under Ex-Parte communication guidance.
Public Meeting Documents
Request for Information
Previously, DOE has tentatively determined that set-top boxes and network equipment qualify as a covered product under Part A of Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA), as amended.
Public submissions to the proposed determination were due on September 30, 2011. These comments are available for review at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket ID# EERE-2010-BT-DET-0040.
In order to keep stakeholders informed, DOE will periodically release preliminary versions of analysis and assessments utilized in the rulemaking process.
Rulemaking Overview and Preliminary Market & Technology Assessment
This document is a stand-alone report that provides an overview of the rulemaking process for the benefit of interested parties, and provides a preliminary market and technology assessment for Set-top Boxes. The preliminary assessments are subject to revision in future phases of the rulemaking process, and do not constitute a final assessment by DOE.
Title III of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6291 et seq.), sets forth various provisions designed to improve energy efficiency. Part A of Title III of EPCA (42 U.S.C. 6291–6309) established the "Energy Conservation Program for Consumer Products Other Than Automobiles," which covers consumer products and certain commercial products (hereafter referred to as "covered products").
In addition to specifying a list of covered residential and commercial products, EPCA contains provisions that enable the Secretary of Energy to classify additional types of consumer products as covered products.
For the Secretary to prescribe an energy conservation standard pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6295(o) and (p) for covered products added pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 6292(b)(1), he must also determine that the products meeting certain additional criteria.
DOE would determine if set-top boxes and network equipment satisfy the provisions of 42 U.S.C. 6295(l)(1) during the course of the energy conservation standards rulemaking.