HC Deb 20 March 1998 vol 308 c763W
Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment she has made of the additional electricity demand that will arise from the introduction of digital television; and if she will calculate the additional Carbon Dioxide emissions that will arise based on different estimates of the use of digital television. [34417]

Mrs. Roche

I understand that the power rating of different digital set top boxes are currently expected to be in the range of 10–30 Watts; equivalent to a low power light-bulb. It is expected that this will fall as refinements are made to designs. How much this adds to electricity demand and Carbon Dioxide emissions will depend, as with current analogue decoders, on how long consumers leave their decoders switched on, and how quickly they adopt digital television services. It is not possible to predict either of these factors with any certainty at this stage. The net impact in the longer-term will also be affected by the savings in energy consumption, estimated at roughly 5 Mega Watts, from eventual closure of the analogue transmitters which are always on and which run at significantly higher power levels than their digital replacements.

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