Thursday, 10 June 2010

Energy Star certification for data centres has arrived

Energy StarLogo US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of the Energy Star label for stand-alone data centres and buildings that house large data centres. 

It’s been some time in the development and we provided some background back in February, but the bottom line is that to earn the label, data centres must be in the top 25% in energy efficiency according to EPA’s energy performance scale.

The EPA uses the Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric as the basis for qualification.  A ‘licensed professional’ must independently verify the energy performance and sign and seal the application document that is sent to EPA for review and approval.


It’s a welcome introduction.  According to the EPA, data centres use 1.5% of total US electricity consumption and it’s growing every year.  Improving the energy efficiency of US data centres by just 10% would save enough energy to power more than 350,000 homes and save more than $450m annually.

This certification adds to the Energy Star labelling for servers introduced a year ago and gives an independent means to assess how green IT infrastructure and data centres are.  Energy Star certification has been widely adopted outside the US, so it will be interesting to see whether the same happens with data centre certification, particularly since there is also an EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres.

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