The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to drive energy efficiency improvements among the nations data centres through its ENERGY STAR program. The EPA has launched an updated specification for ENERGY STAR certification of data storage products, unveiled a brand-new website experience designed to serve as the go-to place for data centre energy efficiency resources, and will be updating its 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for data centres.
“The data centre computing sector is growing rapidly and reducing the sector’s annual 70 billion-plus kWh use is essential to fighting the climate crisis,” Joseph Goffman, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said. “The ENERGY STAR updates EPA is announcing today will lead the industry towards greater innovation and deep carbon savings.”
The ENERGY STAR program has been a critical player in the drive to improve the energy efficiency of data centres. Data centre equipment that earns the ENERGY STAR label is independently certified to meet strict efficiency specifications set by the EPA. For example, labelled computer servers are on average 30 per cent more efficient than non-certified products. In addition to servers, eligible products include uninterruptible power supplies, data centre storage, and large network equipment like switches and routers.
More than 190 data centres representing nearly 30 million square feet of floor space have earned the ENERGY STAR certification. The ENERGY STAR score for data centres was first launched in 2010 and is based on 2008 survey data. Since then, the number of data centres has grown substantially, and much work has been done to improve their energy efficiency.