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EPA Announces Data Centers Can Now Earn Energy Star Label

The EPA CHP Partnership is sending this important announcement to our Partners. The U.S. announced on June 7, 2010, that stand-alone data centers and buildings that house large data centers can now earn the Energy Star label. To earn the label, data centers must be in the top 25 percent of their peers in energy efficiency according to EPA’s energy performance scale. By improving efficiency, centers can save energy and money and help fight climate change. Data centers are found in nearly every sector of the economy and deliver vital information technology services, including data storage, communications and internet accessibility. Data centers use a significant amount of energy, accounting for 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annually, an amount that is expected to almost double over the next five years. Significant energy and cost savings are possible through modest gains in efficiency. Based on the latest available data, improving the energy efficiency of America’s data centers by just 10 percent would save more than 6 billion kilowatt-hours each year, enough to power more than 350,000 homes and save more than $450 million annually. Data centers can improve energy efficiency in many ways, such as purchasing Energy Star qualified servers, ensuring that all HVAC equipment functions properly, and installing CHP systems to provide both electricity and cooling. EPA uses a commonly accepted measure for energy efficiency, the Power Usage Effectiveness metric, to determine whether a data center qualifies for the Energy Star label. Before being awarded the Energy Star, a third-party licensed professional must independently verify the energy performance of these buildings and sign and seal the application document that is sent to EPA for review and approval. Through Energy Star, EPA provides a proven energy management strategy and free tools for public and private organizations to save energy and money through increased energy efficiency. The EPA CHP Partnership promotes the use of CHP at data centers by raising awareness of its energy, environmental, economic, and reliability benefits. The Partnership highlights successful CHP applications, works with our Partners to explore CHP feasibility in their operations, and works to remove barriers to CHP implementation. The Partnership has produced a number of resources related to CHP at data centers including the market report entitled, The Role of Distributed Generation and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Systems in Data Centers www.epa.gov/chp/documents/datactr_whitepaper.pdf that describes the benefits of CHP for data centers and shows energy savings and greenhouse gas emissions reductions resulting from the use of CHP. More information about the Energy Star label for data centers is available at: www.energystar.gov/datacenters. Interested parties can also contact the user support e-mail for Portfolio Manager at: buildings@energystar.gov. More information about the Energy Star label for commercial buildings is available at: www.energystar.gov/labeledbuildings.

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