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Sky Introduces 'Auto Standby' To Its Boxes

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Ever make a guess at how much it costs to power your Sky digibox overnight? No, me neither but Rupert Murdock's crew have and are now determined to stop the waste.

From this week the company will introduce 'Auto Standby' to all its existing Sky HD boxes, then begin roll out to its Sky+ boxes in stages, from mid April until the summer. Resistance is futile.

How it works is simple: Auto Standby will monitor whether people are using their Sky+ or Sky HD box(es) overnight between 11pm and 4am. If the box hasn't been used for a period of two hours after 11pm an 'Auto Standby' warning will flash up on screen for three minutes. If there is no further use the box goes into Standby mode automatically.

The box then stays in Standby until it is woken either by pressing the power button on the box or the Sky button on the remote control. Thankfully Sky boxes still record when in standby mode so there's no worry about missing your favourite shows.

Impressively, Sky predicts that once all its entire fleet of boxes are Auto Standby enabled it could save enough energy to light all the homes in Wolverhampton. Equally wacky is the statistic that it could power all the washing machines in Liverpool for a year. Now I don't like generalisations like this so (for the anally retentive) I've pasted the figures Sky uses to justify this at the end.

Perhaps more appealing than bringing Wolverhampton out of the dark age or doing Scousers' laundry however is the estimation that it will reduce Sky customers electricity bills by around £7,600,000 per year. Again stats at the bottom.

For once I have nothing against a Rupert Murdock initiative. I get to save money while hugging trees and French kissing pandas, fantabulous.

Link:
Sky 'The Bigger Picture' Environmental Site

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Those Stats:
Saving enough energy to light all the homes in Wolverhampton for a year:
Comparison based on 184,000 HD boxes and 2,130,000 Sky+ boxes kept in standby mode for 10 hours a day, which equates to a saving of 73,613,200 kWh over a year. The Environmental Change Institute 2005 Lower Carbon Futures; The 40% House Project, University of Oxford states that indoor lighting uses 715 kWh per year. Therefore the electricity saved could light 102,956 homes for a year and there are 97,122 homes in Wolverhampton (source – UK National Statistics website).

Saving enough energy to power all the washing machines in Liverpool for a year:
Comparison based on 184,000 HD boxes and 2,130,000 Sky+ boxes kept in standby mode for 10 hours a day, which equates to a saving of 73,613,200 kWh over a year. The Environmental Change Institute 2005 Lower Carbon Futures; The 40% House Project, University of Oxford states that washing machines use 270 kWh per year. Therefore the electricity saved could power 272,641 washing machines for a year and there are 187,865 homes in Liverpool (source – UK National Statistics website).

Reducing electricity bills by around £7,600,000 per year for Sky customers who have Sky+ and or Sky HD boxes:
Calculation based on 184,000 Sky HD boxes and 2,130,000 Sky+ boxes installed in customers homes (as of 31 Dec2006). Financial savings calculated by multiplying the annual electricity saving made per box (62 kWh for Sky HD box and 29 kWh for Sky+ box) when in standby for 10 hours per day multiplied by an average cost of 10.41p/kWh, as used by The Energy Savings Trust on their website.


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