Energy Secretary Abraham Marks Anniversary of Standby Power Initiative

August 1, 2002

DOE issued a press release marking the 1-year anniversary of Executive Order 13221 and noting significant energy and cost savings that will be realized from implementation of the Order.

According to the DOE press release, the Order, signed by President Bush on July 31, 2001, has resulted in commitments by major manufacturers to significantly redesign products sold to the general public. "The effort is a prime example of how President Bush has directed the Federal government to lead by example when it comes to saving energy," said Energy Secretary Abraham. "Public/private partnerships like this one can bring about real change that benefits all consumers and our nation. These types of innovations save energy without sacrificing the effectiveness of our products."

Executive Order 13221, "Energy Efficient Standby Power Devices," directs the Federal government to purchase electronic devices such as computers and cell phones that use minimal standby power to reduce unnecessary electrical consumption and save taxpayer dollars. Standby power refers to the electricity used when products are switched off or not performing their primary purpose. Many products consume between 4 and 7 watts of electricity, or more, even when they appear to be off. Products that use standby power include cell phones; some desktop telephones; computers and monitors; computer printers; fax machines; copiers; microwave ovens; appliances with electronic controls, keypads, or clock displays; TVs and VCRs; rechargeable battery-powered tools; and air conditioners (with remote controls).

According to DOE estimates, as existing products and consumer electronics are replaced with low standby power products during the next 6 years, U.S. consumers will save approximately $500 million in cumulative energy cost savings and enough electricity to power 630,000 homes for 1 year. As a result of the President's standby power initiative, DOE estimates that the Federal government will save an estimated $25 million in energy costs during the next 6 years and will save enough electricity to power about 40,000 homes.

The Executive Order directed FEMP, in collaboration with the General Services Administration, the Defense Logistics Agency, the EPA/DOE ENERGY STAR® program, and major industry manufacturers to identify energy efficient products that use minimal standby power. FEMP sought input from numerous product manufacturers, Federal agencies, and other stakeholders to develop appropriate product categories as well as testing and certification guidelines. During this first year of implementation, FEMP focused particular attention on office products and consumer electronics—products bought in large quantities by Federal agencies.

To help agencies identify more energy efficient products, FEMP developed recommended standby power levels for a variety of product categories, including computers, monitors, printers, faxes, copiers, and TVs. Visit the FEMP site to review a list of products and their corresponding standby power levels. Manufacturers are encouraged to submit additional data on the standby power levels of their products to this continuously updated FEMP database. FEMP is also working with the Defense Logistics Agency and the General Services Administration to integrate standby power product data into their electronic and printed catalogs.

For more information, see FEMP's Standby Power web site. For additional information, please contact Alison Thomas of FEMP at 202-586-2099 or