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Covered Product Category: Imaging Equipment

The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) provides acquisition guidance for imaging equipment, a product category covered by the ENERGY STAR program. Federal laws and requirements mandate that agencies buy ENERGY STAR-qualified products in all product categories covered by this program and any acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.

MEETING EFFICIENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR FEDERAL PURCHASES

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets the efficiency criteria for this product category in its ENERGY STAR program requirements. Manufacturers meeting these requirements are allowed to display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. Visit the ENERGY STAR website for current requirements and a list of qualified products.

Executive Order 13514 requires that federal agencies promote electronic stewardship by purchasing EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) registered products.1 In addition to meeting the ENERGY STAR requirements, EPEAT registered computers have other environmentally beneficial attributes (e.g., reduction or elimination of hazardous materials and end-of-life management). For current requirements and a list of registered products, visit the EPEAT website.

DEFINING THE PRODUCT CATEGORY

This acquisition guidance and associated ENERGY STAR program requirements apply to copiers, printers, digital duplicators, scanners, fax machines, multifunction (also known as "all-in-one") devices, and mailing machines. Products covered by other ENERGY STAR program requirements and those designed to operate on three-phase power are excluded.

All of the imaging equipment types covered by ENERGY STAR are also covered by EPEAT requirements. Federal buyers should purchase imaging equipment that is found in both the ENERGY STAR Qualified Product List and EPEAT Registry.

The federal supply sources for imaging equipment are the General Services Administration (GSA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells imaging equipment through its Multiple Awards Schedules program and online shopping network, GSA Advantage! DLA sells them through its online supply network, DOD EMALL. Products sold through DLA are codified with 13-digit National Stock Numbers (NSN) and, in some cases, a two-letter Environmental Attribute Code (ENAC). When buying imaging equipment through DLA sources, look for models with the ENACs shown in Table 1 at the end of the NSN.

The United Nations Standard Products and Services Code (UNSPSC) is a worldwide classification system for eCommerce. It contains over 50,000 commodities, including many used in the federal sector, each having a unique eight-digit, four-level identification code. Using the UNSPSCs will assist buyers with identifying covered product categories and improve record keeping. The UNSPSCs for imaging equipment is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Product Codes for Imaging Equipment
ENERGY STAR Product Category DLA ENAC UNSPSC
Copiers LJ 44101501
Printers, Inkjet LH 43212104
Printers, Laser LH 43212105
Digital Duplicators CZ 44101505
Scanners LH 43211711
Fax Machines LJ 44101500
Multifunction Devices LH 44101503
Mailing Machines KB 44102101

 

REDUCING ENERGY COSTS: SAVE MORE THAN $20 WHEN YOU BUY ENERGY STAR-QUALIFIED PRODUCTS

FEMP has calculated that the required ENERGY STAR-qualified laser printer is cost-effective if priced no more than $72 above the less efficient alternative. The required ENERGY STAR-qualified copier is cost-effective if priced no more than $22 above the less efficient alternative. Cost-effectiveness examples and associated assumptions for these ENERGY STAR imaging equipment types are provided in Tables 2 and 3.

TABLE 2. LIFETIME SAVINGS FOR AN EFFICIENT LASER PRINTER
Performancea Best Available Model ENERGY STAR Model Less Efficientb Model
Typical Energy Consumption 2.0 kWh/week 5.8 kWh/week 8.8 kWh/week
Annual Energy Use 104 kWh/year 305 kWh/year 459 kWh/year
Annual Energy Cost $9 $27 $41
Lifetime Energy Cost (6 years) $49 $144 $216
Lifetime Energy Cost Savings $167 $72 ======

 

TABLE 3. LIFETIME SAVINGS FOR AN EFFICIENT COPIER
Performancea Best Available Model ENERGY STAR Model Less Efficientb Model
Annual Energy Use 57 kWh/year 136 kWh/year 183 kWh/year
Annual Energy Cost $5 $12 $16
Lifetime Energy Cost (6 years) $27 $64 $86
Lifetime Energy Cost Savings $59 $22 ======
a Federal purchases must be of ENERGY STAR-qualified products that meet or exceed ENERGY STAR efficiency levels.
b The less efficient model represents low-efficiency imaging equipment commonly used in commercial offices.

 

DETERMINING WHEN ENERGY STAR IS COST-EFFECTIVE

An efficient product is cost-effective when the discounted savings (from avoided energy costs over the life of the product) exceed the additional upfront cost (if any) compared to a less efficient option. ENERGY STAR considers upfront costs and lifetime energy savings when setting required efficiency levels. Federal purchasers can assume that ENERGY STAR-qualified products are life cycle cost-effective; however, users wishing to determine cost-effectiveness for their application may do so using the cost-effectiveness examples or the ENERGY STAR office equipment cost calculators.

EXCEPTIONS

ENERGY STAR-qualified products may not be life cycle cost-effective in certain low-use applications, or in locations with very low rates for electricity. For most applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life cycle cost.

Agencies may claim an exception to these purchasing requirements through a written finding that no ENERGY STAR-qualified product is available to meet functional requirements, or that no ENERGY STAR-qualified product is life cycle cost-effective for the specific application. Additional information on federal requirements is available.

COMPLYING WITH CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS

These requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including project specifications; renovation, repair, maintenance, and energy service contracts; lease agreements; acquisitions made using purchase cards; and solicitations for offers. Energy efficiency requirements should be included in both the evaluation criteria of solicitations and the evaluations of solicitation responses.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 23.206 requires federal agencies to insert the clause at FAR section 52.223-15 into solicitations and contracts that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products. FEMP recommends that agencies incorporate efficiency requirements into both the technical specification and evaluation sections of solicitations.

Note that displays are often acquired through IT service providers. Make sure the contracts with these providers contain appropriate pass-through provisions to require the purchase of ENERGY STAR-qualified products for all products acquired for federal use.

BUYER TIPS: CHOOSING EFFICIENT PRODUCTS

When purchasing imaging equipment, select EPEAT-registered products to meet federal purchasing requirements. 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.

The most effective way to save energy and reduce costs in printers and copiers is to print in duplex mode (i.e., print on both sides of the paper). Look for a model with duplex speed at least 80% as fast as one-sided copying. Ask your dealer or compare product reviews provided by independent, ISO-certified sources.

Many products with scanning functions offer duplex scanning. This avoids the extra handling needed to scan a two-sided document. Consider purchasing imaging equipment with this feature.

Multifunction equipment that combines printing, copying, and scanning along with fax capabilities may be an attractive option, especially for small offices and home use where space is limited. However, the fax function often requires that the entire unit remain ready to receive a fax at all times. This may increase power consumption significantly. Many multifunction models with fax capability have higher standby power levels than a fax-only machine. In these situations, dedicated low power fax machines should be considered.

USER TIPS: USING PRODUCTS MORE EFFICIENTLY

Make sure the power management features are enabled in all imaging equipment at your facility.

Because more energy is used to make paper than to print on it, make sure the duplexing feature is enabled for all imaging equipment with this function. In addition, all computer workstations should be defaulted to print in duplex mode. Inform users about the benefits of reducing paper use by making or printing fewer copies, using email, posting documents on the Web, circulating a single copy, and using a cover sheet only when necessary.

With the exception of devices with a fax-receiving function, manually turn off all imaging equipment at night, on weekends, and on holidays. This saves energy and will not shorten the life of these products.

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

Updated January 2015

1 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 qualified imaging equipment list.