Data Center Energy Efficiency Program Initiated
A rare opportunity to participate in shaping the future ENERGY STAR Data Center Infrastructure Rating has been initiated by the U.S. EPA and the U.S. DOE
A rare opportunity to participate in shaping the future ENERGY STARTM Data Center Infrastructure Rating has been initiated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). When completed, the rating will help data center operators assess the energy performance of their buildings' infrastructure assets and compare their performance with peers across the United States.
The program, called the National Data Center Energy Efficiency Information Program, is engaging numerous industry stakeholders who are developing and deploying a variety of tools and informational resources to assist data center operators in their efforts to reduce energy consumption in their facilities.
U.S. data centers consume a growing portion of the U.S. energy/electricity supply due to increasing demand for the services they provide. Data centers used 61 billion kWh of electricity in 2006 (double the amount used in 2000), representing 1.5 percent of all U.S. electricity consumption. Based on current trends, energy consumed by data centers will continue to grow by 12 percent per year.
An EPA report to Congress estimated that, if state-of-the-art technology were adopted, then energy efficiency could be improved by as much as 70 percent. Even a modest savings of 10 percent of total energy use would amount to energy savings of 10.7 billion kWh per year, valued at approximately $740 million.
According to the EPA, the new ENERGY STAR rating will be usable for standalone data centers and data centers housed within offices or other buildings. It will assess performance at the building level to explain how a building performs relative to its peers.
After going through this process, the IT industry will join many other industries that operate with an ENERGY STAR rating for their buildings, including real estate, government, healthcare, education, industrial, and retail, among others.
More information about the National Data Center Energy Efficiency Information Program can be found at the DOE (www.eere.energy.gov/datacenters) or EPA (www.energystar.gov/datacenters) websites.