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The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

Energy efficiency agreement for pay TV subscribers good for the wallet and the environment

Media release
16 December 2009
PG/398

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Australian pay television subscribers stand to save millions of dollars and prevent significant greenhouse gas emissions over the coming years, thanks to a new energy efficiency agreement struck between the Australian Government and the subscription television industry.

Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett was in Sydney today to announce the agreement between the Government, Foxtel and Austar. It’s the latest measure in the Government’s comprehensive program improve the energy efficiency of appliances, equipment and lighting.

Energy efficiency is the critical second plank in the Australian Government’s plan to tackle climate change, alongside the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and unlocking the potential of renewable energy.

“In Australia, pay TV subscriber numbers are on the rise; additional functionality is increasing energy use and set-top boxes are staying on for longer. If we were to do nothing, energy use would more than double over the next 10 years.

“Improving the energy efficiency of pay TV set-top boxes is an area where we can achieve great results. Experts predict that this agreement will deliver energy savings of 1,124 gigawatt hours, prevent 948 kilo-tonnes of carbon emissions - the equivalent of taking almost 28,000 cars off the road - and save pay TV subscribers $168 million in lower energy bills between 2009 and 2020.”

The agreement requires signatories to provide new pay TV set-top boxes of high energy efficiency, and to consider accelerating the retirement of older, less efficient products.

“This landmark agreement demonstrates world’s best practice when it comes to industry and government working together to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases for pay TV set-top boxes,” Mr Garrett said.

“Not everyone’s got a pay TV subscription, so it’s also good to know that free-to-air set-top boxes are also more energy efficient – the Government introduced minimum energy performance standards earlier this year, helping consumers save greenhouse gases and reduce energy use.

“And if you’re looking for a new TV for a gift or at the upcoming holiday and stocktake sales, don’t forget to check the energy rating label: the more stars, the more efficient it is and the less it will cost you to run.

“2009 has been a big year for energy efficiency in this country with the most comprehensive program of measures in the nation’s history being rolled-out across all sectors of the Australian economy including homes, commercial buildings, appliances and equipment, industrial energy efficiency, skills and education, Mr Garrett said.

“After 12 years of inaction in this space, it is a really positive and rapid turnaround.”

The agreement with the pay TV industry comes on the back of recent announcements regarding new performance standards and energy labels for televisions; the extension of the 10-star energy rating scale for super efficient fridges, freezers and air conditioners; and the next steps in the phase-out of inefficient household lighting.

Improving the energy efficiency of appliances, equipment and lighting is expected to deliver significant environmental and economic savings for Australia:

“On his recent visit to Australia, Dr Nigel Jollands, Head of Energy Efficiency at the International Energy Agency praised Australia for its efforts when it comes to improving the energy efficiency of appliances, equipment and lighting,” Minister Garrett said.

The energy efficiency agreement for pay TV set-top boxes will start on 1 January 2010 and run for 10 years until 2020.

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