Provide Energy-efficiency Awareness Training

It’s hard to reduce energy waste in your organization if nobody knows what to look for.  Increase the likelihood that your colleagues will spot savings opportunities by providing them with basic training to help them understand energy efficiency in server rooms and data centers.

Webinars, videos, and other training resources are available for both IT managers and non-techies alike.   For example, ENERGY STAR offers a free one-hour webinar specifically designed for non-technical managers (e.g., facility, finance, or sustainability managers) that can help almost anyone identify opportunities to save energy in a data center.  Links to training resources are provided in the “Tips and Considerations” section, below.

Saving Opportunities

Figure 1: Looking for savings opportunities in the data center.  Photo credit: LinkedIn.

3 reasons for IT energy-efficiency training

  1. Energy efficiency isn’t part of an IT professional’s formal training.  It’s important to address this knowledge gap.
  2. For people who don’t work in IT, data centers can seem complex, mysterious, and intimidating.  Even when a facility or sustainability manager has responsibility for organization-wide energy efficiency, without training he/she may not feel sufficiently knowledgeable to identify – let alone push for – energy efficiency measures in a data center.
  3. IT departments rarely pay the utility bills.  This means that IT managers have no direct incentive to think about the energy cost implications of their decisions, such as what equipment to purchase or how to operate it.  As a result, someone from outside of the IT department may need to know enough about IT energy efficiency measures to point out opportunities and to champion changes.

Savings and Costs

Several training resources are available to you and your colleagues for free, and some require less than an hour of time to complete.   By making a modest investment of time in training, you and your colleagues may be able to substantially reduce your organization’s energy costs.

Tips and Considerations

The following resources may help you and your colleagues understand energy-efficiency opportunities in server rooms and data centers.

  • Energy 101: Energy Efficient Data Centers is a 3-minute video overview of data center energy efficiency produced by the US Department of Energy (DOE).
  • ENERGY STAR offers a free 1-hour webinar, Data Center Energy Efficiency Opportunities: What Managers Should Know.  View the webinar schedule and register to attend on the ENERGY STAR website.  The webinar is also available as a five-part video series available on YouTube.
  • The US Department of Energy (DOE) offers classroom-based instruction called “Data Center Energy Practitioner Training.”  Options include a one-day “Generalist” program and a two-day “Specialist” program.
  • Utility funded energy efficiency programs periodically offer webinars or workshops to their commercial customers covering energy efficiency topics.  Ask your utility representative if programs covering data centers are available to you.