Sobriety: Will Internet Boxes Soon Go Down at Night?

Particularly voracious in energy, Internet boxes will soon integrate a mode that will allow overnight standby, as announced on Monday by Jean-Noël Barrot, Delegate Minister in charge of the Digital Transition.

As the government’s motto linked to the energy sobriety plan, which aims to reduce our energy consumption by 10% in two years, “every gesture counts”. To stop the skyrocketing of digital energy costs, by 9% each year in France, the government wants to act to put internet boxes, which are particularly energy-intensive, on standby.

Asked this Monday about the establishment of a night surveillance system on Internet boxes and TV decoders in consumers’ homes, Jean-Noël Barrot, delegate minister in charge of the Digital Transition and Telecommunications, revealed that the issue had been put on the table by the government, in consultation with the telecommunications operators.

“The goal is to reduce energy consumption at night without requiring too much effort from the French. Today there are boxes, decoders, that are put on standby automatically but all this is not completely uniform yet. The commitment assumed by the sector is either to make an update that allows this standby mode for the existing boxes already installed, or that this standby mode is installed by default for the new boxes distributed and sold”, detailed Jean-Noël Barrot in Europe 1.

85-95% savings on deep standby

In fact, all Internet boxes and TV decoders will integrate automatic or programmable standby mode in the near future, like current televisions. The implementation of this function in televisions has allowed significant energy savings since a device in standby consumes ten times less than a device in normal operating mode.

Some telecommunications operators have already taken this turn. Free, via the Freebox Connect app, it currently offers to cut your WiFi during certain time slots. The subsidiary of the Iliad group has announced the implementation of an “energy saving” mode on certain models, which allows, in particular, to deactivate the telephone or put the TV decoder in standby mode, for an estimated energy saving of 95 %. The sector leader in the number of broadband subscribers, Orange, has already implemented this system on its Livebox 6, with an announced saving of 85% on deep standby, according to Franceinfo.

The duo of Internet box and TV decoder consumes a lot of energy, in particular due to WiFi. According to the Agency for the Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), the two coupled devices would consume an average of 184 kWh per year, more than some household appliances such as refrigerators or washing machines. For a single box, the average annual cost of each French would be more than 30 euros, according to this same source.

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