Businesses can now apply for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label for standalone data centers and buildings that house large data centers. 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.
EPA uses the power usage effectiveness (PUE) metric to measure for energy efficiency, which will determine whether a data center qualifies for the Energy Star label. In addition, a licensed professional must independently verify the energy performance of these buildings, which is sent to the EPA for review and approval.
In April, Green Grid, together with several global government and industry groups including the EPA agreed to global data center energy-efficiency metrics centered on the PUE rating.
Data centers account for 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annually, which is expected to almost double over the next five years, according to the EPA.
Based on the latest available data, improving the energy efficiency of U.S. data centers by just 10 percent would save more than 6 billion kilowatt-hours each year, enough to power more than 350,000 homes and save more than $450 million annually, said the federal agency.
In May last year, EPA introduced its Energy Star for Servers program to make it easier for buyers to identify energy-efficient systems.