National Data Center Energy Efficiency Information Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have initiated a joint national data center energy efficiency information program. The program coordinates a wide variety of activities from the DOE Industrial Technologies Program Save Energy Now initiative, the DOE Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), and the EPA ENERGY STAR program.

The following fact sheets summarize ongoing efforts at DOE and EPA to provide information, tools, and resources to owners and operators of data centers to assist in their efforts to reduce energy consumption in their buildings. They also provide links to a wide variety of organizations outside of the Federal government that can be of help in your efforts to improve energy efficiency.

EPA and DOE have released a report which details the discussions and recommendations covered during the National Strategy Workshop on July 8, 2008 in Redmond, WA. The workshop, convened by DOE and EPA, gathered representatives from industry, utilities, associations and NGOs to identify next steps for public and private collaboration toward advancing toward the goal of improved energy efficiency in data centers. The final report is provided below.

EPA Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency

On August 2, 2007 and in response to Public Law 109-431 PDF (31KB) the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Program released to Congress a report assessing opportunities for energy efficiency improvements for government and commercial computer servers and data centers in the United States.

The study projects near-term growth in energy use of U.S. computer servers and data centers, assesses potential cost and energy savings related to computer server and data center energy efficiency improvements, and recommends potential incentives and voluntary programs to promote energy-efficient computer servers and data centers. The report complements EPA’s ongoing efforts to develop new energy efficiency specifications for data servers, including market and technical research, industry collaboration, and explorations into a new ENERGY STAR buildings benchmark for data centers which reflects whole building operations.

The report recommends a mix of programs and incentives, as well as a holistic approach to achieve significant savings. Recommendations include:

  • Collaborating with industry and other stakeholders on the development of a standardized whole-building performance rating system for data centers.
  • Federal leadership through implementation of best practices for its own facilities.
  • Development of ENERGY STAR specifications for servers and related product categories.
  • Encouraging electric utilities to offer financial incentives to facilitate Data Center energy efficiency improvements.
  • The Federal government should partner with industry to issue a CEO Challenge, for private-sector CEOs to assess and improve the energy efficiency of their data centers.
  • Public/private research and development into advanced technology and practices including computing software, IT hardware, power conversion, heat removal, controls and management, and cross-cutting activities.

On Thursday August 9, 2007 EPA hosted a Web based discussion on its Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency Opportunities.

EPA would like to thank all industry stakeholders for their valuable insight and contributions to this effort. To view documents related to the report development process visit EPA Server and Data Center Report.