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Impulse Radio Ultra WideBand (IR-UWB) communication has proven to be an important technique for supporting high-rate, short-range, and low-power communication. In this paper, using detailed models of typical IR-UWB transmitter and receiver structures, we model the energy consumption per information bit in a single link of an IR-UWB system, considering packet overhead, retransmissions, and a Nakagami-m fading channel. Using this model, we minimize the energy consumption per information bit by finding the optimum packet length and the optimum number of RAKE fingers at the receiver for different transmission distances, using Differential Phase-shift keying (DBPSK), Differential Pulse-position Modulation (DPPM) and On-off Keying (OOK), with coherent and non-coherent detection. Symbol repetition schemes with hard decision (HD) combining and soft decision (SD) combining are also compared in this paper. Our results show that at very short distances, it is optimum to use large packets, OOK with non-coherent detection, and HD combining, while at longer distances, it is optimum to use small packets, DBPSK with coherent detection, and SD combining. The optimum number of RAKE fingers are also found for given transmission schemes.