The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for light fixtures or luminaires, a product category covered by ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements. Both ENERGY STAR and FEMP provide programmatic guidance for various types of luminaires. 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 and associated ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements for light fixtures are technology neutral, meaning that one technology is not favored over another. Table 1 shows which light fixtures are covered by ENERGY STAR's product specification requirements and which types are covered by FEMP.

This acquisition guidance was updated in June 2021.

Table 1. Comparison of ENERGY STAR and FEMP-Designated Coverage of Commercial Lighting Products
Product Categories Covered by the ENERGY STAR Luminaires Specification Product Categories with FEMP-Designated Efficiency Requirements (Not Covered by ENERGY STAR)
Directional downlights—recessed, surface mount, or pendant Suspended fluorescent luminaires
Shelf-mounted display and task lights, such as those mounted under overhead storage cabinets Ceiling-mounted fluorescent luminaires
Portable desk lamps Industrial luminaires (high/low bay)
Accent lights, including line-voltage track lighting Exterior lighting

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

For luminaire types covered by ENERGY STAR, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides efficiency levels and product specification information on its ENERGY STAR website. Manufacturers meeting these requirements are allowed to display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. Visit the ENERGY STAR website for the most up-to-date commercial light fixture efficiency levels and product specification information, and a list of qualified light fixtures. For luminaire types covered by FEMP, product efficiency requirements are provided in the relevant product overview guidance. See Table 1 for more information.

Did You Know?

Occupancy sensors can also provide savings for both task and overhead downlight fixtures. Integrated dimming systems with daylight controls are also available for use with downlight fixtures to provide savings when daylight can supplement artificial lighting.

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save $113 or More by Buying ENERGY STAR

FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-qualified light fixtures save money if priced no more than $113 (in 2017 dollars) above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $117. Table 2 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 2. Lifetime Savings for Efficient Luminaire Models
Performance Best Available ENERGY STAR Less Efficient
Light Output (lumen) 600 605 605
Input Power (watt) 9 11 60
Annual Energy Use (kWh) 35 43 234
Annual Energy Cost $3 $4 $21
Lifetime Energy Cost $21 $25 $138
Lifetime Cost Savings $117 $113 ======

 

View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 1

Performance Column

Light Output: Shown in lumens.

Input Power: A measure of power input to the luminaire, shown in watts.

Annual Energy Use: Based on IES LM-79-08 (Electrical and Photometric Measurements of Solid-State Lighting Products) and the test method referenced in 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix R.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.088/kWh, which is the average electricity price at federal facilities. 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 and assumed product life of 6.4 years based on 10.7 daily operating hours, from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Impact of the EISA 2007 Energy Efficiency Standard on General Service Lamps, and rated lifetime of 25,000 hours, based on minimum rated lifetime from ENERGY STAR specifications. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis – 2021: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 (NISTIR 85-3273-36).

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 June 2021 ENERGY STAR-Qualified Products List; values shown are rounded to the nearest dollar. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.

ENERGY STAR Model Column

Calculated based on June 2021 ENERGY STAR efficiency levels; values shown are rounded to the nearest dollar. 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.

Determine When ENERGY STAR 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. ENERGY STAR considers up-front costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume ENERGY STAR-qualified products 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 ENERGY STAR’s efficiency requirements (e.g., the best available model).

Claim an Exception to Federal Purchasing Requirements

Products meeting ENERGY STAR or FEMP-designated efficiency requirements may not be life cycle cost-effective in certain low-use applications or in locations with very low rates for electricity or natural gas. Operating conditions vary from facility to facility. However, for most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost. To help determine cost-effectiveness in unusual operating conditions, consult with ENERGY STAR.

Agencies may claim an exception to federal purchasing requirements through a written finding that no ENERGY STAR-qualified or FEMP-designated product is available to meet functional requirements, or that no such product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Get additional information on federal product purchasing requirements.

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 and energy performance requirements into both the technical specification and evaluation sections of solicitations.

Requirements to purchase energy-efficient products can sometimes be perceived as in conflict with other acquisition requirements, including Buy American, Small Business, or other set-asides. These requirements are not mutually exclusive. If you run into problems trying to meet multiple procurement requirements, please reach out to FEMP for assistance.

Find Federal Supply Sources

The federal supply sources for energy-efficient products are the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells products through its Multiple Awards Schedules program and online shopping network, GSA Advantage!. DLA offers products through the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and online through FedMall (formerly DOD EMALL). Products sold through DLA are codified with 13-digit National Stock Numbers and, in some cases, a two-letter Environmental Attribute Code (ENAC). The ENAC identifies items that have positive environmental characteristics and meet standards set by an approved third party, such as FEMP.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a worldwide classification system for e‑commerce. It contains more than 50,000 commodities, including many used in the federal sector, each with a unique eight-digit, four-level identification code. Manufacturers and vendors are beginning to adopt the UNSPSC classification convention, and electronic procurement systems are beginning to include UNSPSC tracking in their software packages. UNSPSCs can help the federal acquisition community identify product categories covered by sustainable acquisition requirements, track purchases of products within those categories, and report on progress toward meeting sustainable acquisition goals. FEMP has developed a table of ENERGY STAR and FEMP-designated covered product categories and related UNSPSC codes.

Light Fixture Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers light fixtures through the Multiple Award Schedule.

DLA offers commercial light fixture/luminaire models with the ENAC "DC" at the end of the NSN.

The UNSPSC for light fixtures are listed in Table 3.

Table 3: Product Codes for Light Fixtures
ENERGY STAR Product Category UNSPSC
Commercial Downlighting Fixtures 39111530
Desk Fixture 39111507
Undercabinet Fixture 39111528
Downlighting Fixtures 39111515
Pendant Lighting 39111522
Recessed Lighting 39111505
Track Lighting 39111508

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

Downlight luminaires using incandescent lamps do not meet ENERGY STAR performance requirements. Federal law prohibits federal buyers from purchasing incandescent downlights unless the head of their agency determines in writing that an exception is warranted. Currently, all ENERGY STAR-certified luminaires covered by FEMP use LED technology.

Some utilities offer rebates or other incentives for the purchase of ENERGY STAR-qualified products. Use the ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder to see if your local utility offers these incentives.

User Tips: Use Products More Efficiently

Proper lighting design is critical to maximizing lighting efficiency. Commercial downlight luminaires, in particular, are often used in office and retail environments. Where possible, task lamps and under-cabinet work surface lighting should be used in combination with lower ambient (overhead) light levels. Occupancy sensors can also provide savings for both task and overhead downlight fixtures. Integrated dimming systems with daylight controls are also available for use with downlight fixtures.

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