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Low Standby Power Product Purchasing Requirements and Compliance Resources

A product consumers standby power when it is in the lowest power-consuming mode—typically when it is switched off. Federal agencies are required to purchase information technology (IT) and electronic products with a standby level of 1 Watt or less. They are also required to ensure that 95% of electronic product purchases qualify as Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) products each year. Read about laws and requirements related to energy-efficient product purchasing.

Table 1 outlines specific standby power requirements and compliance resources by product category. Federal purchases must meet these low standby power requirements. Electronic products not listed in Table 1 must meet a standby power level of 1 Watt or less unless the product is not available or not cost effective in the intended application. In that case, the buyer should seek a product with the lowest standby power level available.

Table 1. IT and Electronics Purchase Requirements and Resources
Product Category Product Compliance Resources
Use these resources to determine whether a product complies with requirements for federal purchases.
Low Standby Product Lista EPEAT Registryb ENERGY STAR–Qualifiedc
Computers (desktop)d X X  
Computers (thin client)d
Computers (workstation)d
Computers (integrated)d   X X
Computers (notebook)d
Displays (computer displays)e
Imaging equipmentb
Audio/video equipment     X
Computers (small-scale servers)d
Displays (professional signage)e
Uninterruptible power supplies
All other product types Buy products rated ≤1 Watt, or the lowest available standby power level for the product category, per 42 U.S.C. §8259b(e)

a All products on the Low Standby Product List are ENERGY STAR–qualified, if available. FEMP updates the Low Standby Product List monthly, using ENERGY STAR–qualified product lists.
b By definition, all EPEAT-registered imaging equipment meets low standby power requirements.
c For these categories, FEMP has determined that more than 80% of ENERGY STAR-qualified products meet or exceed a 1-Watt standby power requirement.
d The ENERGY STAR product category "Computers" includes desktop, integrated, notebook, and workstation computers. It also includes thin clients and small-scale servers. Small-scale servers are not covered by EPEAT.
e The ENERGY STAR product category "Displays" includes computer displays, digital picture frames, and professional signage. Computer displays are covered by EPEAT. Professional signage is not covered by EPEAT.


Identifying Cost-Effective Products

An efficient product is cost effective when the energy cost savings over its functional lifetime exceed any initial incremental cost above a base model). ENERGY STAR-qualified products and products meeting Federal Energy Management Program designated efficiency requirements are life cycle cost effective.

To find a cost-effective product for your application, use the cost-effectiveness example in Table 2.

Table 2. Cost–Effectiveness Example for Standby Power Consumption: 100 Desktop Computers
  Base Level Required Level Best Available
Standby consumption (Watts) 1.18 1 0.01
Annual standby energy consumption (kilowatt-hours/year) 708 600 0
Annual cost of standby energy consumption $64 $54 $0
Lifetime cost of standby energy consumptiona $236 $200 $0
Lifetime cost savingsb $36 $236

a Assumes the computers are operated for 4 years, spend 6,000 hours per year in standby (based on IEC 62301 V1.0-2005), and electricity costs are $0.09 per kilowatt-hour. It also builds in future electricity price trends and discount rates based on federal guidelines.
b Assumes that the low standby power computer is available for the same price as a high standby power computer. Federal agencies will find that this is often the case.

To adjust the electricity price in this example, multiply the typical lifetime energy cost savings above by this ratio:

(Your price in $0.00/kilowatt-hours) ÷ ($0.09/kilowatt-hours)

To adjust the hours a device is consuming power at the standby power level, multiply the typical lifetime energy cost savings above by this ratio:

(Your hours) ÷ (6,000 hours)

FAR Part 23.206 requires federal agencies to insert the FAR section 52.223-15 clause in solicitations and contracts that deliver, acquire, furnish, or specify energy-consuming products. FEMP recommends agencies incorporate efficiency requirements into the technical specification and evaluation sections of solicitations. Get sample contracting language for IT products.

Updated July 2013