If 25% can achieve status will it motivate the other 75%, EPA announces Energy Star for Data Centers

The EPA announced its Energy Stare Labe for Data Centers.

EPA Announces Data Centers Can Now Earn Energy Star Label

Release date: 06/07/2010

Contact Information: Enesta Jones, jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today 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.

The metric is defined using PUE.

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 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.

Which I am sure The Green Grid and other PUE supporters are happy with.

But, will a standard that says 25% of the top performers in PUE earning an ENERGYSTAR label drive others to follow?

The standard implies that running energy efficient servers will help you run improve data center energy efficiency.

Data centers can improve energy efficiency in many ways, such as purchasing Energy Star qualified servers and ensuring that all HVAC equipment functions properly.

The efficiency of the IT load actually could hurt your PUE, because you would need less power, and the lower load on the data center infrastructure makes it harder to achieve a low PUE.  If you are focused on a low PUE you want a nice consistent high load on your infrastructure that allows your equipment to run at optimal conditions.

Would you rather run a higher PUE with a lower total power usage or a lower PUE with a higher total power usage.  If you are paying the electricity bill you want the lowest bill.

This can be confusing, and only time will determine if the other 75% will be motivated by the 25% who have ENERGYSTAR for their data center.