Covered Product Category: Printers
FEMP provides acquisition guidance across a variety of product categories, including printers, which are an ENERGY STAR®-qualified product category. Federal laws and executive orders mandate that agencies meet these efficiency requirements in all procurement and acquisition actions that are not specifically exempted by law.
Most manufacturers display the ENERGY STAR label on complying models. For a model not displaying this label, check the manufacturer's literature to determine if it meets the efficiency requirements outlined by ENERGY STAR.
This product category overview covers the following:
- Energy Efficiency Requirements
- Contracting Considerations
- Buyer Tips: How to Choose Efficient Products
- Cost-Effectiveness Example
- User Tips: How to Use Products More Efficiently
- Federal Supply Sources
Energy Efficiency Requirements
For the most up-to-date efficiency levels required by ENERGY STAR, look for the ENERGY STAR label or visit the ENERGY STAR Product Specifications website. For more information, contact the FEMP point of contact listed at the bottom of this page.
These requirements apply to all forms of procurement, including construction guide specifications and 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 in 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. Agencies may claim an exception to these requirements through a written finding that no ENERGY STAR-qualified or FEMP-designated product is available to meet the functional requirements, or that no such product is life-cycle cost effective for the specific application. Additional information on Federal requirements is available.
Buyer Tips: How to Choose Efficient Products
If buying a medium- or high-speed laser printer that produces at least 6,000 to 8,000 pages per month, choose a model with duplex (two-sided printing) capability. Duplex printing is often a standard feature above 40 pages per minute. Duplex printers save on paper costs and provide lower postage, reduced file space, etc. The added cost of a printer duplex attachment is often repaid in two years or less.
Note that imaging equipment is often acquired through IT service providers. Make sure that such IT service contracts contain appropriate pass-through provisions to require the purchase of ENERGY STAR-qualified products for all products acquired for Federal use.
Imaging equipment is a product type covered by purchasing requirements for products with low standby power. Refer to the Standby Power Data Center for information about products that meet low standby requirements.
Determining Cost Effectiveness
An efficient product is cost effective when the energy cost savings over its functional lifetime exceed any initial incremental cost above a base model (i.e., energy cost savings is greater than additional costs at time of purchase). Federal purchasers may assume that ENERGY STAR-qualified and products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements are life-cycle cost effective. However, users wishing to determine cost effectiveness for their application may do so using the below cost-effectiveness example or the ENERGY STAR office equipment energy and cost calculator.
Products meeting FEMP-designated efficiency requirements or ENERGY STAR performance specifications may not be life-cycle cost effective in certain low-use applications, such as when a device is being purchased for backup purposes and will remain in off mode for most of its useful life. For most other average or high-use applications, purchasers will find that energy-efficient products have the lowest life-cycle cost.
User Tips: How to Use Products More Efficiently
Make sure the power management and duplexing features of the printer are enabled, and that duplexing is the default setting within user software. Set the wait time prior to sleep mode as short as possible, consistent with user needs.
Even for printers with a low-power sleep mode, you can save more energy if you manually shut them off completely at night and on weekends. Some printer models do not have a manual on/off switch. These can be shut off using an external power strip (surge protector).
Networked systems that allow several nearby users to share a single (faster) printer generally save time, cost, and energy compared with each computer having a dedicated printer.
In some cases, an older printer that does not have an ENERGY STAR sleep mode can still be power-managed using an external control device. External controls switch the printer off (rather than into sleep mode) after a preset time, and switch it on again when a print signal is received.
Federal Supply Sources
Federal supply sources are the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA). GSA sells products through its Multiple Awards Schedules and GSA Advantage! DLA offers products through the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia and DOD EMALL.