The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers and its global arm, the International Society of Broadband Experts announced it will partner with Villanova University’s RISE Forum to develop a headend and hub energy assessment tool targeted at critical facilities managers, technology business leaders and other executives in cable telecommunications.

The Society reports the energy assessment tool will provide a new methodology for managing power consumption in a more sustainable manner, with a specific focus on accelerating energy-efficiency improvements in the industry’s hub and network edge facilities. The ultimate goal is reportedly to help the industry meet the energy reduction targets established through SCTE/ISBE’s Energy 2020 Program. Energy 2020 is a concerted commitment by the cable industry to achieve double-digit reductions in energy cost and consumption by the end of the decade.

SCTE points out that in recent years, significant progress has been made in reducing power consumption in data center facilities, but cable’s edge facilities traditionally have been in an “always-on” state regardless of demand. Industry and academia have recognized the need to focus attention further down the modern “digital supply chain,” to include these innumerable critical facilities. Beyond reducing energy footprints and optimizing performance, the energy management tool aims to enhance the overall resiliency of these customer-facing buildings.

“Between 73 percent and 83 percent of cable’s overall energy consumption is by hubs, headends and the access network power supplies, powering the active equipment in the HFC network,” Chris Bastian, SVP and CTO of SCTE/ISBE, observes. “The Villanova RISE Forum will complement other efforts to tackle that challenge, including the development of standards that are enabling cable system operators to identify consumption patterns more effectively.”

SCTE/ISBE is a member of Villanova’s RISE (Resilient Innovation through Sustainable Engineering) Forum that works to accelerate the identification and application of data-driven solutions that will help its members increase the sustainability of their respective organizations and secure a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Through RISE, graduate students in Villanova University’s Master of Science in Sustainable Engineering program will develop and pilot test the energy assessment tool during the 2016-2017 academic year.

The pilot sites will serve as case studies that will demonstrate how managers and executives can deploy this tool to improve the environmental footprint of headend and hub facilities, while simultaneously reducing costs and driving network performance and resilience. The intent is to not only raise leaders’ awareness of the need for comprehensive energy management within these edge facilities, but to provide them with a diagnostic tool and data-driven methodologies for implementing energy-efficiency improvements.

The graduate student team overseeing this project plans to present preliminary findings at the Energy 2020/EMS Plenary on Oct. 18, hosted at CableLabs, in Colorado.