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EPA Reports Major Energy-Efficiency Opportunities for Servers, Data Centers

By CP Editorial Staff August 2007 - Facilities Management

A new EPA report shows that data centers in the United States have the potential to save up to $4 billion in annual electricity costs through more energy-efficient equipment and operations, and the broad implementation of best management practices.

The document, "Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency," recommends priority efficiency opportunities and policies that can also lead to additional savings using state-of-the-art technologies and operations.

Data centers contain IT equipment — computing, networking and data storage equipment — as well as power and cooling infrastructure. They are part of the critical national infrastructure, found in nearly every sector of the economy, including banking and financial services, media, manufacturing, transportation, education, health care and government.

Findings from the report include:

    • Data centers used about 60 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, about 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.
    • The energy consumption of servers and data centers has doubled in the past five years and is expected to almost double again in the next five years to more than 100 billion kWh, costing about $7.4 billion annually.
    • Federal servers and data centers alone account for about 6 billion kWh, or 10 percent, of this electricity use, at a total electricity cost of about $450 million per year.
    • Existing technologies and strategies could reduce typical server energy use by 25 percent, with even greater energy savings possible with advanced technologies.

For more information and a copy of the report, visit


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On FacilitiesNet: energy efficiency, data centers, epa

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