If youâ€™re sitting at work while your DVR records â€œThe Real Housewives of New Jersey,â€ â€œJersey Shore,â€ â€œJerseyliciousâ€ and â€œEverybody Loves Raymond,â€ it might actually be using up more power than your air conditioner or refrigerator. Yea, seriously.
Most homes own at least one basic cable box with an add-on digital video recorder, used to record movies and television shows as they are aired, even if the TV isnâ€™t on. One cable box and one DVR use about 10 percent more kilowatt hours a year than a 21 foot energy-efficient refrigerator. Basically, much more than youâ€™d expect by looking at the tiny boxes or thinking about the â€œsmallâ€ task theyâ€™re performing.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, these boxes consume about $3 billion worth of energy each year in the United States alone. Power that is, in retrospect, a huge waste because the majority of it isnâ€™t even expelled while you are watching television. Plus, how many â€œKing of Queensâ€ reruns can one person watch, anyway?
Similar electronics in European countries can be set to go into stand-by mode which can cut energy use in half. Americans who have been given the option of receiving these products go for the energy hog because of the lesser amount of time it takes to reboot and get it going, when itâ€™s time to watch some â€œBridezillasâ€ after a long day at the office. Needless to say, energy efficiency isnâ€™t at the top of most people’s priority lists. No time to waste when â€œ16 and Pregnantâ€ is coming on!
This is almost equivalent to the fact that so many people will eyeball the entire room from the couch for 15 minutes in order to find the remote, and will fall asleep with a burrito in their hand before actually getting up to change the channel. Except this time getting up isnâ€™t even necessary, itâ€™s the fact that people canâ€™t wait for a machine to boot up. If you live in the United States, itâ€™s not like youâ€™re watching good TV anyway.