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Energy efficiency(EE) has caught more and more attention in future wireless communications due to steadily rising energy costs and environmental concerns. In this paper, we propose an EE scheme with proportional fairness for the downlink multiuser distributed antenna systems (DAS). Our aim is to maximize EE, subject to constraints on overall transmit power of each remote access unit (RAU), bit-error rate (BER), and proportional data rates. We exploit multi-criteria optimization method to systematically investigate the relationship between EE and spectral efficiency (SE). Using the weighted sum method, we first convert the multi-criteria optimization problem, which is extremely complex, into a simpler single objective optimization problem. Then an optimal algorithm is developed to allocate the available power to balance the tradeoff between EE and SE. We also demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed scheme and illustrate the fundamental tradeoff between energy- and spectral-efficient transmission through computer simulation.