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IBM To Provide Customers With Energy Efficiency Certificates

IBM is giving customers a way to earn energy efficiency certificates for reducing data center energy use and possibly sell them on the carbon market. IBM says this is the first time a corporation has helped its clients earn and trade credits in return for using its products.

The certificates earned – based on energy use reduction verified by Neuwing Energy Ventures – provide a way for businesses to certify measurement of their energy use reduction. The certificates can be traded for cash on the emerging carbon certificate market or retain them to demonstrate reductions in energy use and associated CO2 emissions.

The program is initially available for IBM mainframes, ComputerWorld reports. But the plan is to extend it to all of its server lines and storage systems. It’s being rolled out in the U.S. with plans to offer it in Europe in 2008.

IBM designed the program because more companies are looking for ways to accurately measure their energy consumption as part of environmental programs, said Rich Lechner, vice president of IT optimization at IBM, CNet reports.

Lechner expects most customers to hold on to the energy-efficiency certificates rather than sell them. The monetary value of a large-scale energy efficiency program could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars if the company chooses to sell as credits, he said.

IBM’s own consolidation project (collapsing 3,900 distributed servers onto 30 mainframes) will net certificates worth between $300K and $1M, depending on carbon’s market price, according to Slashdot.

To begin with, Neuwing Energy determines the initial energy draw from the data center or IT equipment identified for consolidation and then performs a second review of energy draw after IBM’s work is completed.

Neuwing issues customers an Efficiency Certificate for the total megawatt-hours of energy no longer needed to power and cool their data center or operate IT equipment. Neuwing keeps a portion of each customer’s earned certificates or charge a per MWH saved fee in exchange for the assessment.

Customers can trade earned Efficiency Certificates on the energy efficiency certificate market or keep them to demonstrate reductions in energy use and associated CO2 emissions.

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