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EPA Considers Energy Star for Servers

energy_star_logo.jpgIn a letter to computing-industry representatives late last week, the EPA said it “is initiating its process to develop an Energy Star specification for enterprise computer servers,” CNET reports.

The EPA’s discussions with computing-equipment makers and data center operators has shown “compelling evidence of the need for this specification,” according to the letter from Andrew Fanara, an Energy Star program manager. But the certification isn’t a foregone conclusion: “In the coming months, EPA will conduct an analysis to determine whether such a specification for servers is viable, given current market dynamics, the availability and performance of energy-efficient designs and the potential energy savings,” Fanara said.

Fanara said the EPA’s discussions with computing-equipment makers and data center operators has shown “compelling evidence of the need for this specification.”

Government involvement in computer efficiency is increasing. President George W. Bush signed a bill that urges Americans to buy energy-efficient servers, and the Department of Energy has begun trying to get involved in helping companies become more energy-efficient. Technology companies including Google, IBM, Microsoft, Cisco, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard met with DOE officials last month to discuss fears that volatile and expensive energy could hinder the tech sector.

Computer companies have also been rolling out new energy-efficient products recently. Dell has unveiled two PowerEdgeservers that the company says underscores its commitment to environmental responsibility and its goal to design the most energy-efficient products.

Dell’ss not alone – manufacturers such as IBM, HP and Sun have made recent announcements concerning the energy efficiency of their systems. IBM recently announced that it would launch a new business unit in 2007 that will focus on environmental technologies. Hewlett-Packard announced a new energy management system, dubbed HP Dynamic Smart Cooling, that’s designed to deliver 20 to 45 percent savings in cooling energy costs. In addition, Sun has unveiled its Project BlackBox.

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