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The default picture setting is used to earn the ENERGY STAR label. To ensure energy savings, make sure to use the ENERGY STAR setting.

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for televisions, 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 for televisions are technology neutral, meaning that one technology is not favored over another. However, ENERGY STAR's product specification requirements are limited to televisions that are marketed to the consumer as a television (i.e., television is the primary function); capable of being powered from a wall outlet or with an external power supply; and meet the ENERGY STAR product type definitions for televisions or hospitality televisions.

All other types of televisions are excluded, including but not limited to projectors, televisions with a main battery that enables operation without being connected to power; products with a computer input port (e.g., VGA), that are marketed and sold primarily as computer monitors or other displays, and that do not contain an integrated TV tuner encased within the product housing; and products that are covered under other ENERGY STAR product specifications.

This acquisition guidance was updated in December 2018.

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides television 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-certified televisions.

The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.7 requires the purchase of EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) registered products. All EPEAT-registered products meet ENERGY STAR requirements, but not all ENERGY STAR-qualified products are EPEAT-registered. Federal buyers should purchase products that are found in both the EPEAT registry and the ENERGY STAR-certified televisions list. In addition to meeting ENERGY STAR requirements, EPEAT registered products have other environmentally beneficial attributes (e.g., reduction or elimination of hazardous materials and end-of-life management).

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save $11 or More by Buying ENERGY STAR

FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-qualified television saves money if priced no more than $11 (in 2017 dollars) above the less efficient model. The best available model saves up to $25. 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 Television Models
PerformanceBest AvailableENERGY STARLess Efficient
Annual Energy Use (kWh)4978101
Annual Energy Cost$4$7$9
Lifetime Energy Cost$23$37$48
Lifetime Cost Savings$25$11======

View the Performance and Model Assumptions for Table 1

Performance Column

Annual Energy Use: Based on the test method referenced in 10 CFR 430, Subpart B, Appendix H for a 42-inch 1080p edge-lit LED screen television, listed in kilowatt-hours.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.086/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 6 years. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis - 2018: Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 and NBS Special Publication 709 (NISTIR 85-3273-33).

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 2018 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 December 2018 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 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.

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 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.

Television Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers televisions through Schedule 58I (Professional Audio/Video Telemetry/Tracking, Recording/Reproducing and Signal Data Solutions).

The DLA ENAC for televisions is "KK".

The UNSPSC for televisions is 52161505 and for plasma screen televisions is 52161542.

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

When comparing different types of televisions it is important to consider the type of television being purchased. Liquid crystal display (LCD) screens that use light-emitting diode (LED) technology tend to be the most energy efficient. In addition, televisions with larger screens use more energy than those with smaller screens. Before buying a television, you can calculate the energy cost of a television based on your typical usage with DOE's Appliance Energy Calculator.

There are several other key television characteristics that impact energy use, as described below and in the ENERGY STAR buying guidance.

Automatic Brightness Control

The automatic brightness control (ABC) feature is a self-acting mechanism that controls the brightness of the TV relative to the brightness of the room in which it is located. The ABC feature is intended to enhance the viewing experience and also save energy by being activated only when necessary.

Local Dimming

Local dimming is different than ABC. Local dimming typically occurs in LED-backlit LCD TVs when sections of the LED backlighting are turned off or dimmed to help produce deep blacks and save energy.

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

When used and handled properly, energy-efficient televisions provide years of safe and effective service. Federal users should be aware of the following user tips, which are described in the ENERGY STAR buying guidance.

Many TVs are now shipping with pre-set picture settings that viewers can select, such as "vivid," "sports" or "cinema." These picture settings reflect changes in the brightness and contrast ratio to enhance the content in a specific manner. The default picture setting is the setting that has been used to earn the ENERGY STAR label. To ensure you continue to see energy savings, make sure you use the ENERGY STAR setting as much as possible. In addition, plugging your TV and components into a smart power strip can prevent energy waste when the system is not powered on.

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