U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Federal Energy Management Program

Federal Requirements for the Procurement of Energy-Efficient Products

Federal agencies must purchase ENERGY STAR–qualified products or FEMP-designated product categories where such categories have been established. The following laws and regulations govern the procurement of energy-efficient products:

Additional requirements spanning renewable energy, water efficiency, greenhouse gases, and other topics are outlined on the Requirements and Guidance by Subject page.

Final Rule on Federal Procurement of Energy Efficiency Products

FEMP issued a final rule covering the Federal procurement of energy-efficient products. The rule was recorded in the Federal Register (Volume 74, Number 48) Friday, March 13, 2009.

The final rule updates 10 CFR Part 436. It establishes guidelines for Federal agencies regarding the implementation of amendments to the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA) that require the procurement of ENERGY STAR–qualified products and FEMP-designated product categories in procurements involving energy-consuming products and systems.

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Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007

The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 requires each Federal agency to ensure that major replacements of installed equipment (such as heating and cooling systems) or renovation or expansion of existing space employ the most energy-efficient designs, systems, equipment, and controls that are life cycle cost-effective.

EISA 2007 sets several additional mandates surrounding the procurement of energy-efficient products, including:

  • Requires Federal agencies to minimize standby energy use in purchases of energy-using equipment, and to buy products with one watt or less of standby power when possible.
  • Requires Federal procurement to focus on ENERGY STAR–qualified products and FEMP-designated product categories.

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Energy Policy Act of 2005

Section 104 of the Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 2005 requires agencies to purchase ENERGY STAR–qualified products or FEMP-designated product categories when procuring energy-consuming products. The requirement applies to products and equipment purchased through any agency procurement action, including those products purchased:

  • Directly by agencies from Federal supply agencies and commercial sources.
  • Indirectly through acquisitions carried out under construction, renovation, or services contracts.
  • Individually through any purchases using Government credit cards.

Exceptions to these requirements are allowed only if:

  1. No ENERGY STAR–qualified product or FEMP-designated product category is cost-effective over the life of the product.
  2. No ENERGY STAR–qualified product or FEMP-designated product category is reasonably available that meets the agency's functional requirements.

In such cases, the head of the agency must find in writing that such an exception is warranted.

EPAct 2005 directs the General Services Administration and the Defense Logistics Agency to supply only ENERGY STAR–qualified products or FEMP-designated product categories unless written justification is received from the requesting agency to supply an alternative product. This justification must meet the exception criteria above.

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Federal Acquisition Regulations

Part 23 of Federal Acquisition Regulations (48 CFR Part 23) requires Federal agencies to purchase, where life cycle cost-effective and available, energy-using products that are ENERGY STAR–qualified or meet the requirements of FEMP-designated product category specifications and FEMP low standby power specifications. For details, see FAR Section 23.203.

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Executive Order 13423

Executive Order 13423 requires Federal agencies to acquire energy-efficient products in acquisition of goods and services. Instructions for implementing the order define energy-efficient products as ENERGY STAR–qualified products or FEMP-designated product categories.

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Executive Order 13221

Executive Order 13221 directs Federal agencies to purchase products that use minimal standby power when possible. Specifically, when Federal agencies purchase commercially available, off-the-shelf products, the products must use no more than one watt of standby power. If such products are not available, agencies shall purchase products with the lowest standby power wattage available.

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