The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for residential electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE), 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 are technology neutral, meaning that one technology is not favored over another. However, ENERGY STAR's EVSE product specification requirements are limited to DC fast charging or AC Level 1 and Level 2 electric vehicle charging systems. Wireless/inductive chargers are excluded from ENERGY STAR’s EV Charger Specification.

This acquisition guidance was updated in June 2023.

Did you know?

A conventional EVSE system in standby mode can draw as much energy as a desktop computer.

Find Product Efficiency Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides electric vehicle supply equipment 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 EVSE models.

Make a Cost-Effective Purchase: Save $1,200 or More by Buying ENERGY STAR

FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-certified EVSE model saves money if priced no more than $1,200 above the less efficient model. Table 1 compares three types of product purchases and calculates the energy waste savings of purchasing efficient models. Federal purchasers can assume products that meet ENERGY STAR efficiency requirements are life cycle cost-effective. Note that these savings relate to the amount of wasted power. Less efficient charging stations will require additional charging to achieve the same amount of battery power.

Table 1. Lifetime Savings for Efficient EVSE Models
PerformanceBest Available ModelRequired ModelBase Model
On-Mode Efficiency97%93%90%
Annual Energy Waste (kW)1,3553,2974,867
Annual Energy Waste Cost$134$327$482
Lifetime Energy Waste Cost$1,087$2,645$3,905
Lifetime Waste Cost Savings$2,817$1,259=====


Performance Column

Annual Energy Waste: Amount of energy drawn by the charging station but not delivered to the battery. This is calculated based on the assumptions in EVSE Specification package 1.1. These assumptions include a 10% annual utilization rate of a 50-kW charger.

Annual Energy Cost: Calculated based on an assumed electricity price of $0.099/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 10 years, from ENERGY STAR Market and Industry Scoping Report. Future electricity price trends and a 3% discount rate are from Energy Price Indices and Discount Factors for Life-Cycle Cost Analysis – 2022 Annual Supplement to NIST Handbook 135 (NISTIR 85-3273-37 – Update 1).

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 2023 ENERGY STAR-Qualified Products List. More efficient models may be introduced to the market after FEMP's acquisition guidance is posted.

Required Model Column

Calculated based on June 2023 ENERGY STAR efficiency levels. Federal agencies must purchase products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR efficiency levels.

Base Model Column

The baseline of 90% efficient models is assumed in accordance with the June 2023 calculation of Energy Star-Qualified Products.

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.

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 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.

EVSE Schedules and Product Codes

GSA offers electric vehicle supply equipment through Schedule 56 383 5 (Buildings and Building Materials, Industrial Services & Supplies – Batteries and Battery Chargers).

The UNSPSC for electric vehicle charging systems is 251750.

Buyer Tips: Make Informed Product Purchases

Before purchasing EVSE units, it is crucial to consider who you are serving with this purchase. If you are supporting EV commuting employees, consider whether they’d be better served by Level 1 or Level 2 charging stations, and the quantities you may need. For fleet support, optimized location of Level 2 chargers can reduce total EVSE requirements.

When purchasing Level 2 chargers, include all relevant stakeholders in the procurement process. There can be significant permitting and building code requirements for Level 2 charger installation. Maintenance, facilities management, and electrical professionals should all be consulted before installation locations are finalized, as Level 2 chargers require a higher voltage supply than standard outlets.

User Tips: Use Products More Efficiently

Level 1 EVSE plug into standard wall outlets and typically carry a charging time of 8 to 16 hours, so they don’t require rotation. Level 2 chargers, however, only take 4 to 6 hours for a full charge and typically cost more up front. With this charging time in mind, along with the potential scarcity of available Level 2 chargers, moving a vehicle once charged to open up availability of the charger can increase the efficiency of charger purchases. Some chargers come outfitted with network connectivity, which can report on the charge state of connected vehicles and provide remote power monitoring.


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