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The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for refrigerated beverage vending machines, a product category covered by ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements. 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 apply to new and remanufactured refrigerated beverage vending machines. Combination vending machines and large refreshment centers with refrigerated compartments are excluded.

In the federal sector, vending machines are primarily common in snack areas, recreational areas or kitchenettes, or near dining areas of many facilities. Some buildings even have "vending areas" off the main corridors that contain many different types of vending machines. It is quite common for vending machines to be provided by a service vendor. See the Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machine Service Contracts section for more information about including efficiency requirements in service contracts.

This acquisition guidance was updated in January 2020.

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides vending machine 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. Get a list of ENERGY STAR-qualified vending machines.

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save $150 by Buying ENERGY STAR

FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerated beverage vending machine saves money if priced no more than $83 (in 2018 dollars) above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $231. Table 1 compares three types of Class A beverage vending machines with 21-ft3 refrigerated volume, 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 Vending Machine Models
PerformanceBest AvailableENERGY STARLess Efficient
Maximum Daily Energy Consumption2.84 kWh3.28 kWh3.52 kWh
Annual Energy Use1,037 kWh/year1,196 kWh/year1,285 kWh/year
Annual Energy Cost$91$104$112
Lifetime Energy Cost$967$1,115$1,198
Lifetime Energy Cost Savings$231$83======
View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 1
Performance Column

Maximum Daily Energy Consumption (MDEC): Determined in accordance with 10 CFR Part 431 Subpart Q, Appendix B.

Annual Energy Use: Calculated by multiplying the MDEC for each model by 365; assumes Class A beverage vending machines with 21-ft3 refrigerated volume operating 365 days per year.

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.

Lifetime Energy Cost: The sum of the discounted value of annual energy cost and an average refrigerated beverage vending machine life of 13.5 years. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis–2019: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 (NISTIR 85-3273-34).

Lifetime Energy 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 2019 ENERGY STAR List of Qualified Products; 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 current ENERGY STAR eligibility criteria; 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 minimum federal appliance standards.

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 and products that meet 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 federal 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. However, for most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost.

Agencies may claim an exception to federal purchasing requirements through a written finding that no FEMP-designated or ENERGY STAR-qualified product is available to meet functional requirements, or that no such product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Learn more about 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 requirements into technical specifications, the evaluation criteria of solicitations, and the evaluations of solicitation responses.

Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machine Service Contracts

Vending machines are often part of a contractual arrangement with distributors in which these products are placed in federal facilities at no charge. In return, federal agencies provide space and the electrical power necessary to operate the vending machines. In some cases, the agency may receive a portion of the revenue from the beverage sales. Agencies must request that the refrigerated beverage vending machines provided through these contracts meet current ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements.

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 through FedMall (formerly DOD EMALL). Products sold through DLA are codified with a 13-digit National Stock Number (NSN) 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 and ENERGY STAR.

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 numbers.

Refrigerated Beverage Vending Machine Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers energy-efficient refrigerated beverage vending machines through Schedule 73 (Food Service).

DLA's ENAC for vending machines is "KE."

The UNSPSC for vending machines is 48111101.

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

Refrigerated beverage vending machines come in two classes. Class A machines are fully cooled and typically have glass fronts that display the beverages on sale and are labeled for "Indoor Use Only." Class B refrigerated beverage vending machines typically have solid fronts, can be used indoors or outdoors, and utilize zone cooling where only a small portion of the products stored in the machine are cooled (usually the next few items to be sold).

Vending machines come in many sizes or capacities, typically stated in the number of cans or bottles. Larger machines use more energy and cost more to operate. Agencies should require vendors to properly size the beverage vending machines placed in their facilities to avoid excessive energy use and its related cost.

Both new and remanufactured machines are eligible for ENERGY STAR recognition. When replacing refrigerated beverage vending machines, agencies should first check with their distributor to see if there are retrofit kits available that can be combined with existing models to meet ENERGY STAR performance requirements. Find information about ENERGY STAR-qualified remanufactured machine-component combinations.

Many states and electric 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. FEMP’s Energy Incentive Program helps federal agencies take advantage of these incentives by providing information about the funding-program opportunities available in each state.

User Tips: Use Products More Efficiently

ENERGY STAR-qualified vending machines are equipped with controls or software that put the lighting and/or refrigeration systems into a low power state at night, on weekends, or for other periods of prolonged inactivity. Agency staff should request that the vendor activate the low power state most advantageous for their facility and periodically check that it is functioning properly (e.g., lights are turned off late at night or on weekends).

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