Now Nanny-State Enviros Want to Go After Alexa & Siri

‘Some of the new models will be able to achieve standby power levels of only 1 to 2 watts while still able to quickly wake a TV…’

National Resource Defense Council Warns About Smart Devices' Energy Usage

Alexa / IMAGE: PhoneBuff via Youtube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The National Resources Defense Council has a new target for its environmental concerns: video streaming devices and smart speakers.

Digital assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Now continue to use energy whether they are “on” or on “standby” mode, NRDC reported.

The approximately 100 million smart devices that have been bought in the United States during the past few years “are generally energy efficent,” according to the NRDC’s research.

Normally, smart devices use $1.50 to $4 worth of energy per year.

Yet, Noah Horowitz, director of the NRDC’s Center for Energy Efficiency Standards, said that streaming devices and smart speakers can drain a lot of power when they are connected to TVs, since many TVs do not have energy-efficient standby modes.

Horowitz said the energy cost for smart devices connected to televisions “could exceed $1 billion annually” and cause “pollution from the additional power generation.”

He said these costs could be “avoided if all TV models were designed to sleep at less than 1 or 2 watts when connected to a smart speaker, which some manufacturers already do.”

Some older televisions can use “around 20 watts continuously” while in standby mode, more than doubling the amount of electricity that a television would use during its standard 10-year lifespan.

Regardless of the environmental concerns, households that connect smart devices to TVs need to look out for their pocketbooks.

Doubling a television’s energy usage costs about $2o per year.

That energy bill over the TV’s lifetime could cover the cost of a new flat screen TV.

“After our initial testing, we relayed our findings to the leading TV makers and learned that a few had been working to achieve much lower standby power levels than the ones we recorded,” Horowitz wrote.

“Our limited follow-up testing showed that some of the new models will be able to achieve standby power levels of only 1 to 2 watts while still able to quickly wake a TV and respond to a user’s voice commands,” he said.