Low Standby Power Product Purchasing Requirements and Compliance Resources

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Federal agencies are required to purchase energy-consuming products with a standby power level of 1 watt or less, when compliant models are available on the market. To assist federal buyers in complying with this low standby power product requirement, the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has identified priority product categories, which include products that consume relatively large amounts of energy and are prevalent in the federal sector.

For all other product categories, buyers should request a statement of standby power consumption from the vendor. If a standby power level of 1 watt or less is not currently available, buyers should purchase a product with the lowest possible standby power in the product category. Find out how standby power is measured.

This acquisition guidance was updated in January 2017.

Find Low Standby Power Products in FEMP's Priority Product Categories

The requirement to purchase low standby power products accompanies other laws and requirements related to energy efficiency, including the purchase of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-registered and ENERGY STAR-qualified products. For certain products, the purchase of EPEAT-registered or ENERGY STAR-qualified models automatically satisfies the low standby power requirement. However, for other products the requirement is not satisfied due to a variation in product category definitions or the absence of a standby power requirement in the registration or qualification process.

Table 1. Purchasing Priority Products with a Standby Power Level of 1 Watt or Less
How To ComplyPurchase products on FEMP's Low Standby Power Product List.Purchase products that are EPEAT-registered and ENERGY STAR-qualified.Purchase products that are ENERGY STAR-qualified.
Priority Product CategoriesThin client computers and workstation computersDesktop computers, integrated computers, notebook computers, slates/tablets, portable all-in-one computers, computer displays, professional signage, and imaging equipment.Audio/video equipment, televisions, uninterruptible power supplies, and corded telephones

 

Thin Client Computers and Workstation Computers

Purchase products on FEMP's Low Standby Power Product List. The Low Standby Power Product List catalogs products that are ENERGY STAR-qualified and have a standby power less than 1 watt. FEMP updates the Low Standby Power Product List monthly, using ENERGY STAR-qualified product lists. EPEAT requirements for this product category do not include low standby power.

Desktop Computers, Integrated Computers, Notebook Computers, Portable All In-One Computers, Slates/Tablets, Computer Displays, Professional Signage, and Imaging Equipment

Only products that are both EPEAT-registered and ENERGY STAR-qualified satisfy the low standby power requirement in this category. EPEAT's registration requirement for most products includes low standby power or ENERGY STAR qualifications; however, there are some EPEAT-registered products that aren't qualified to the current ENERGY STAR standard.

Audio/Video Equipment, Televisions, Uninterruptible Power Supplies, and Corded Telephones

Purchase ENERGY STAR-qualified products. FEMP has determined that more than 80% of ENERGY STAR-qualified products in this category meet or exceed the 1 watt standby power requirement. These products are not covered by EPEAT.

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save Up to $245 by Buying Energy Star

FEMP has calculated the energy savings for ENERGY STAR-qualified desktop computers based on a purchase of 100 units. In this case, the required ENERGY STAR-qualified computer purchase saves money if priced no more than $179 above the less efficient models. Purchasing high efficiency models, which are ENERGY STAR certified models in the 90th percentile of energy use, saves up to $245 or more. Table 1 compares three types of desktop computer purchases and calculates the lifetime cost savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective.

Table 2. Lifetime Savings for Standby Power Consumption of 100 Desktop Computers
PerformanceBest AvailableRequired LevelLess Efficient
Standby Power (W)0.10.451.38
Annual Energy Use (kWh/year)250254783
Annual Energy Cost$5$23$70
Lifetime Energy Cost$19$86$264
Lifetime Cost Savings$245$179======
View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 2
Performance Column

Standby Power: Based on ENERGY STAR values and typical reported values for power managed computers in sleep and off modes, listed in watts. Typical reported values are from Xergy Consulting's June 2016 report, Determining a Real-World Adjustment Factor for Computer Energy Use: Laboratory Testing the Impact of Real-World Idle, Active Mode and Peripherals (Docket #14-AAER-2).

Annual Energy Use: Based on ENERGY STAR values and typical reported values for power managed computers in sleep and off modes, listed in kilowatt-hours. Typical reported values are from Xergy Consulting's June 2016 report, Determining a Real-World Adjustment Factor for Computer Energy Use: Laboratory Testing the Impact of Real-World Idle, Active Mode and Peripherals (Docket #14-AAER-2).

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.09/kWh, which is the average electricity price at federal facilities throughout the United States. Learn more about Federal Government Energy/Water Use and Emissions.

Lifetime Energy Cost: Calculated as the sum of the discounted value of the annual energy cost over the assumed product life of 4 years, from Xergy Consulting's June 2016 report, Determining a Real-World Adjustment Factor for Computer Energy Use: Laboratory Testing the Impact of Real-World Idle, Active Mode and Peripherals (Docket #14-AAER-2). Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis - 2016: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709 (NISTIR 85-3273-31).

Lifetime Cost Savings: The difference between the lifetime energy cost of the less efficient model and the lifetime energy cost of the required FEMP level or best available model.

Best Available Model Column

Calculated based on the December 2016 ENERGY STAR-Qualified Products List. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.

Required Level Column

Calculated based on December 2016 ENERGY STAR efficiency levels. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed FEMP efficiency levels.

Less Efficient Model Column

Calculated based on typical products used in non-federal applications.

To adjust the cost of standby power consumption in Table 2, multiply the typical lifetime energy cost savings by this ratio:

(Your price in $/kWh) ÷ ($0.09/kWh)

To adjust the hours a device is consuming power at the standby power level, multiply the typical lifetime energy cost savings by this ratio:

(Your hours) ÷ (6,000 hours)

Determine When Low Standby Power Products are Cost-Effective

An efficient product is cost-effective when the lifetime energy savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product, discounted to present value) exceed the additional up-front cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option. FEMP considers up-front costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective. In high-use applications or when energy rates are above the federal average, purchasers may save more if they specify products that exceed FEMP's efficiency requirements (e.g., the best available model).

Incorporate Federal Acquisition Regulation Language in Contracts

These mandatory requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including construction guide and project specifications; renovation, repair, energy service, and operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts; lease agreements; acquisitions made using purchase cards; and solicitations for offers. Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.206 requires agencies to insert the clause at FAR section 52.223-15 into contracts and solicitations that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products for use in federal government facilities. To comply with FAR requirements, FEMP recommends that agencies incorporate efficiency requirements into technical specifications, the evaluation criteria of solicitations, and the evaluations of solicitation responses.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provided supporting analysis for this acquisition guidance.