If you have a cable box and a DVR, their combined power draw is a stunning 446 kWh per year — more than a new refrigerator. And two-thirds of that energy gets sucked down when the boxes aren’t even in use. In fact, they draw almost as much power when the TV is off as they do when they're playing content.

Eighty percent of U.S. households pay for TV, and cumulatively, we spend $2 billion a year on electricity for our set-top devices. Just eliminating the power they draw when not in use would reduce electricity consumption by the equivalent of six coal-fired power plants.

One of the reasons this humdrum consumer item isn't more efficient is that the overwhelming majority of the boxes are provided by the cable operators themselves. They're not paying your electricity bill, so they don’t give a crap.

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And you thought shitty service, price gouging, bandwidth caps, and making it possible to watch 19 Kids and Counting were your cable company’s only sins.

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