EPA sets Energy Star ratings for servers

Monday - 5/18/2009, 3:38pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
FederalNewsRadio

Computer servers that use at least 30 percent less energy than standard ones now can earn the Energy Star label.

The Environmental Protection Agency today announces the new specification that could save $800 million per year and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from more 1 million vehicles.

Computer servers that earn the Energy Star label will include:

  • Efficient power supplies that generate less waste heat, reducing the need for excess air conditioning in the facilities where they are housed;
  • Improved power quality, which provides buildingwide efficiency benefits;
  • Capabilities to measure real time power use, processor utilization and air temperature, which improves manageability and lowers total cost of ownership;
  • Advanced power management features to save energy across various operating states; and
  • A power and performance data sheet for purchasers that standardizes key information on energy performance, features and other capabilities.

These new specifications are a part of EPA's Energy Star program's larger data center initiative to reduce the amount of energy these buildings consume.

EPA and the Energy Department says in a 2008 report that U.S. data centers used 61 billion kilowatts per hour of electricity in 2006, representing 1.5 percent of all U.S. electricity consumption and double the amount consumed in 2000.

EPA and Energy say based on current trends, energy consumed by data centers will continue to grow by 12 percent per year.

Energy also has released tools in the past year to measure data center power usage.

Its Data Center Energy Profiler (DC Pro) Tool Suite helps data center managers evaluate energy use and identify potential opportunities for savings.

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On the Web:

EPA -- Enterprise Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency Initiatives Web site

EPA -- Data center energy savings fact sheet

Energy -- Save Energy Now data centers Web sites

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