Guiding Principles for Energy Efficiency

In an effort to assist data center operators wishing to assess the energy efficiency of their facilities, eight leading organizations that set or use data center energy efficiency metrics met on January 13, 2010 in Washington, DC. The outcome of the meeting is an agreement to three guiding principles for measuring energy efficiency in data centers at the present time. These guiding principles are meant to help the industry have a common understanding of energy efficiency metrics that can generate dialogue to improve data center efficiencies and reduce energy consumption. Each of the participating organizations has agreed to promote these guiding principles to their members and stakeholders in an effort to bring uniformity to the measurement of data center energy efficiency, while the dialogue continues to advance existing metrics. Additionally, the eight participating organizations created a task force to develop further recommendations based on the agreed upon guiding principles. Below please find a copy of the guiding principles established on January 13, as well as the set of recommendations from the task force on measuring PUE at dedicated data centers and data centers in mixed-use buildings.

Additionally, a global taskforce comprised of representatives from the U.S., European Union, and Japan has been meeting regularly since February 2010 to provide greater detail on metrics to improve energy efficiency in the IT industry. Below please find a copy of the Taskforce’s agreement on guiding principles for measuring energy efficiency in data centers and measurement protocols for PUE.

We hope that these principles will help you in your efforts to improve the efficiency of data centers, and welcome your questions by e-mail to

The work on these guiding principles has been part of a greater joint initiative by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) called the National Data Center Energy Efficiency Information Program. The program coordinates a wide variety of activities from the EPA ENERGY STAR program, DOE Industrial Technologies Program Save Energy Now initiative, and the DOE Federal Energy Management Program.