The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for residential furnaces, a product category covered by ENERGY STAR. Federal laws and requirements mandate that agencies purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified products or FEMP-designated products in all product categories covered by these programs and in any acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.
FEMP's acquisition guidance for residential furnaces and the associated ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements apply to gas-, propane-, and oil-fired furnaces with heating capacities less than 225,000 Btu/h.
Commercial furnaces (i.e., those with heating capacities of 225,000 Btu/h or greater) and weatherized furnaces are excluded.
This acquisition guidance was updated in December 2015.
Find Product Efficiency Requirements
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides residential furnace program requirements and efficiency criteria on the ENERGY STAR website. Manufacturers meeting these requirements are allowed to display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. Federal buyers can use ENERGY STAR's list of certified residential furnaces to identify or verify complying models.
Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save $1,241 or More by Buying ENERGY STAR
FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-qualified residential furnace saves money if priced no more than $1,241 above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $1,443. Table 1 compares three types of product purchases and calculates the lifetime cost savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products that meet ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective.
|Table 1. Lifetime Savings for Efficient Residential Furnace Models|
|Performance||Best Available||ENERGY STAR||Less Efficient|
|Output Capacity||70,000 Btu/h||70,000 Btu/h||70,000 Btu/h|
|Annual Energy Use||648 therm||665 therm||770 therm|
|Annual Energy Cost||$441||$452||$524|
|Lifetime Energy Cost (20 years)||$7,665||$7,867||$9,108|
|Lifetime Cost Savings||$1,443||$1,241||======|
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE): Ratio of useful energy output to energy input, expressed as a percentage (%), over the entire heating season.
Output Capacity: Shown in British thermal units per hour (Btu/h).
Annual Energy Use: Based on the test method referenced in 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix N.
Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed natural gas price of $0.68/therm, which is the average natural gas price at federal facilities throughout the United States.
Lifetime Energy Cost: Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis - 2015: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709 (NISTIR 85-3273-30).
Lifetime Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the ENERGY STAR model or best available model.
Best Available Model Column
Calculated based on the December 2015 List of Certified ENERGY STAR Products. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.
ENERGY STAR Model Column
Calculated based on current ENERGY STAR efficiency levels. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR efficiency levels.
Less Efficient Model Column
Calculated based on typical products used in non-federal applications.