The new feature will automatically switch a customer’s Sky box into standby mode if it hasn’t been used for a period of two hours between the hours of 11pm and 4am, after displaying an on-screen warning for three minutes.
As the Sky box needs to have power supplied to it at all times in order to allow the schedule of recordings and software updates, it’s near impossible to completely cut power usage when the Sky box isn’t actively being used. However, Sky calculate that this initiative could save enough energy to light all the homes in Wolverhampton, or power all the washing machines in Liverpool, as well as slashing £7.5m from customers’ annual electricity bills, and reducing the UK’s CO2 emissions by 32,000 tonnes a year.
I’m not sure why this feature can’t be invoked 24 hours a day – after all I can imagine someone watching the morning news on their Sky box, forgetting to turn it to standby, and it remaining actively on all day.
Nevertheless, in the absence of consumers taking proactive measures to cut their electricity usage (how hard is it to turn off a Sky box when you’ve finished watching it?), it’s a step in the right direction.
More environmental and ethical consumer news at our sister blog, Hippy Shopper