ENERGY STAR Score for Data Center Estimates (U.S. and Canada)

Last Updated: 
8-24-2018
This is a screenshot of the first page of the technical documentation for Data Center Estimates in Canada.

The ENERGY STAR score provides a fair assessment of the energy performance of a property relative to its peers, taking into account the climate, weather, and business activities at the property. In the United States, data centers are able to earn the ENERGY STAR score using an energy intensity metric that takes into consideration the IT Energy used by the data center (see the Technical Reference for the ENERGY STAR Score for Data Centers for more details). For data centers within a larger property, it can sometimes be difficult for property managers to obtain IT Energy. For this reason, the ENERGY STAR score can also be computed using estimates to adjust for the presence of data centers. In Canada, data centers are not eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR score, but estimates can be used for data centers located within larger properties. The goal of the ENERGY STAR score, when the data center estimates are used, is to rate the energy performance of the primary use of the building, not the data center.

  • Technical Approach. Typical values for energy use per unit of floor area are used to estimate the energy use for the data center portion of the property. This estimated energy use is subtracted from the building’s actual energy use, yielding an estimate of energy use of the building without a data center. This allows the building to be evaluated as though it does not have a data center.
  • Property Types. Data centers can be entered as part of larger properties of all types (e.g., office, warehouse) and will be incorporated into the ENERGY STAR score for eligible property types. Data center refers to spaces specifically designed and equipped to meet the needs of high density computing equipment such as server racks, used for data storage and processing. Data center is intended for sophisticated computing and server functions; it should not be used to represent a server closet or computer training area.
  • Adjustments. The data center estimated energy consumption is based on the energy use per unit floor area. Multiple reference data sources were reviewed to determine an appropriate value for the estimate.
  • Release date. The estimate for data centers was released in February 2018 for properties in Canada and in August 2018 for properties in the United States.

This document presents details on how the ENERGY STAR score is computed when estimated energy consumption is used for data centers within a larger property. More information on the overall approach to develop ENERGY STAR scores is covered in our Technical Reference for the ENERGY STAR Score, available at www.energystar.gov/ENERGYSTARScore. The subsequent sections of this document offer specific details on the development of the data center adjustment.

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