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Federal Procurement of Energy-Efficient Products March 2013 Update

Welcome to the eighth issue of Federal Energy-Efficient Product Procurement! This bi-monthly update helps Federal procurement officials, facility managers, and others remain up to date on events, training, technology, and changes to acquisition requirements.

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In This Issue:

Purchasing Requirements for Lighting Products: Who Covers What?

Lighting is a broad product category that includes products types covered by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) and ENERGY STAR. FEMP covers a variety of products commonly used in Federal office applications, including recessed and suspended fluorescent luminaires. FEMP also covers industrial luminaires and many types of exterior lighting. ENERGY STAR covers light bulbs, including compact fluorescent lamps and LED lamps, and light fixtures, including a variety of residential and commercial products.

FEMP recently updated its product category overview for ENERGY STAR light fixtures to help identify important commercial lighting products of interest to Federal buyers. The ENERGY STAR product specification for light fixtures applies to both residential and commercial products, but FEMP's product overview focuses its acquisition guidance on the most commonly used ENERGY STAR commercial products.

Commercial lighting products with FEMP-designated efficiency requirements (not covered by ENERGY STAR):

Commercial lighting products covered by the ENERGY STAR light fixtures specification:

  • Directional downlights, including recessed, surface mount, or pendant lighting
  • Shelf-mounted display and task lights, such as those mounted under overhead storage cabinets
  • Portable desk lamps
  • Accent lights, including line-voltage track lighting.

Note that many additional lighting products are covered by the residential portion of the ENERGY STAR specification for light fixtures. See the ENERGY STAR website for more information on light fixtures, including information on how products qualify for the ENERGY STAR label.

Transitioning Commercial Gas Water Heater Specifications
ENERGY STAR recently developed a performance specification for commercial water heaters. The specification went into effect in February 2013; however, manufacturers have not yet had the opportunity to have their products tested and qualified through the ENERGY STAR process.

As soon as enough products are qualified through the ENERGY STAR process, FEMP will transition Federal procurement requirements from FEMP to ENERGY STAR. In the interim, Federal buyers should purchase commercial gas water heaters that meet FEMP efficiency requirements.

More Updates to ENERGY STAR and FEMP-Designated Efficiency Requirements

In addition to adding the new light fixtures page featured above, FEMP added a new efficiency requirements page for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Other recently updated efficiency requirements include:

Visit the FEMP Covered Product Categories page for more information about Federal energy-efficient product purchasing requirements.

Incorporating Energy-Efficient Products Into the Unified Facility Guide Specs

Over the past year, the Alliance to Save Energy, in partnership with FEMP, has reviewed the United Facility Guide Specifications to update the specifications for products that fall under the FEMP or ENERGY STAR categories. As a result, the Alliance is proposing updates to Divisions 1, 7, 11, 14, 22, 23, 26, 27, 40, and 42.

If you know of additional guide specification documents that should be considered in this update, the Alliance is interested in reviewing the documents to maintain consistency in procurement specifications. To submit guide specifications, share comments and resources, or to participate in the specification review, contact Matt Kerns at the Alliance to Save Energy.

New Member of the FEMP Team

FEMP has a new project lead for the technology deployment and energy-efficient product procurement bodies of work. David Catarious is currently serving a year-long detail with the technology deployment task, filling in for Shawn Herrera, who is on detail with another group. Starting April 2013 through July 2013, he will also be the main point of contact for energy-efficient product procurement, covering for Amanda Sahl while she is on detail to another office. For questions about technology deployment or energy-efficient product procurement, contact David at david.catarious@ee.doe.gov or 202-586-8121.

GSA Suspends Training and Expo, SmartPay, and FedForum in 2013

In an effort to comply with spending cuts and use its resources responsibly, GSA has cancelled three conferences in 2013: GSA Training and Expo, GSA FedForum, and GSA SmartPay Training Forum. Even with reduced budgets, GSA remains committed to agency training and offers an array of online, virtual, and classroom training closer to your location.

  • GSA Interact: Free on-demand and webinar training and an online forum for interactions with industry partners.
  • GSA Training: Free on-demand, webinar, and classroom training on a variety of topics and offerings.
  • GSA Customer Service Directors: A worldwide network equipped to answer questions, resolve problems, and offer local training for your organization.

For questions about these cancellations, email expo@gsa.gov, fedforum@gsa.gov, or gsa_smartpay@gsa.gov.

New E-Learning Course Teaches Energy-Efficient Product Procurement

FEMP's Energy-Efficient Federal Purchasing procurement e-learning course is part of the Whole Building Design Guide and provides hands-on learning for professionals on finding, specifying, and selecting energy-efficient products. The course outlines the financial and environmental benefits of buying energy-efficient products, and summarizes the legal requirements underpinning Federal acquisition regulations, which mandate the purchase of ENERGY STAR and low-standby-power products, along with products from FEMP-designated product categories.

This free online training fills an important gap, particularly now that GSA Expo, SmartPay, and FedForum have been cancelled for 2013. Fundamental and intermediate training topics include integrating energy efficiency into the procurement process and overcoming potential barriers. Students who pass the course's Procurement Challenge and receive a certificate of completion will have developed and demonstrated skills in complying with the law and saving money by buying energy-efficient products. The 4.5-hour course is worth 4.5 learning units and 0.5 FEMP continuing education credits.

Sustainability in Procurement Fellows Complete FEMP Detail

The FEMP Energy-Efficient Product Procurement program wrapped up its first Sustainability in Procurement Fellows projects in March 2013. FEMP thanks the cohort 4 team, which included Debbie Clark (GSA), Chuck Dougherty (GSA), Susan Gilbert-Miller (DOL), Dr. Rose Grymes (NASA), and Zamora Olin (USUHS), for their great accomplishments in two projects.

  • FEMP Commit to Efficiency campaign: Debbie, Chuck, Rose, and Zamora reviewed the content of basic, intermediate, and advanced product procurement training courses; developed clear and effective Commit to Efficiency campaign resources for the procurement audience; and created an outreach plan for procurement officials, helping FEMP refine and expand its resources.
  • GSA energy-efficient product designation: Debbie and Susan worked with FEMP to correctly identify products sold through GSA that should carry an energy-efficiency designation and quantify potential cost savings from procuring energy-efficient products based on a "true cost" or life cycle analysis.

The Sustainability in Procurement Fellows professional development program provides Federal employees with in-depth training on sustainability. The fellowship covers regulatory requirements, industry trends, and systems thinking concepts and provides hands-on sustainability project experience.

Newsletter Contact and Subscriptions

Your feedback is very important to us. To submit newsletter articles, suggest topics, or provide feedback, contact Heidi Blakley at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). For more information about energy-efficient product procurement, visit femp.energy.gov/procurement.

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