Pursuing Energy Savings Opportunities in Mexico’s Digital TV Transition

With support from the SEAD Initiative, the Mexican government is using its analog-to-digital TV transition to modernize the country’s infrastructure while reaping the benefits of energy efficient technology.

television iconsMexico is in the process of transitioning all of its terrestrial TV broadcasts from analog to digital signals, making wireless spectrum bandwidth available for other telecommunication uses and improving TV picture and service quality by enabling high-definition broadcasts. Typically governments implement a digital TV transition by distributing digital decoder devices to consumers, enabling them to continue using old analog TVs with the new digital signal. 

In Mexico the government is following a different path: carrying out its digital transition by distributing new, flat-panel TVs that are capable of processing a digital TV signal on their own. SEAD Initiative analysis shows that replacing Mexico’s old, analog TVs with new, highly-efficient models could potentially result in huge electricity and financial savings for the country. 

In collaboration with Mexico’s National Commission for Energy Efficiency (CONUEE) and the Mexican Ministry of Communications and Transport, SEAD used the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory (LBNL) Energy Efficiency Revenue Analysis (LEERA) tool to study the potential impact on electricity consumption of distributing highly-efficient, flat-screen TVs to 14 million low-income households in Mexico. SEAD found that exchanging 14 million old analog TVs with new LED-LCD models could reduce TV energy consumption in Mexico by 68 to 82 percent. This reduction would save up to 3.5 TWh of electricity per year, while also producing revenue for the Mexican government in the form of avoided electricity subsidy expenditures—up to US$2.3 billion over 7 years even after subtracting the cost of 14 million flat-panel TVs.

The LEERA model helps governments with electricity subsidies design low- and no-cost incentive programs to promote the purchase of energy efficient appliances. LEERA-designed incentive programs help policymakers reduce energy consumption and lower government spending on electricity subsidies without raising energy costs for consumers.

Learn more about the LEERA model and Mexico’s digital TV transition.