Data centers and buildings that house large data centers now can earn Energy Star labels from the EPA. To earn the label, the centers must be in the top 25 percent of their peers in energy efficiency. EPA uses the Power Usage Effectiveness metric to determine whether a data center qualifies for the Energy Star label, and before a label is awarded, a third-party licensed professional must verify the energy performance of these buildings.
According to the EPA, data centers account for 1.5 percent of the total U.S. electricity consumption at a cost of $4.5 billion annual, and this amount is expected to almost double over the next five years. The organization estimates that increasing the energy efficiency of America’s data centers by 10 percent would save more than six billion kWh per year, enough to power more than 350,000 homes, and would save more than $450 million annually.
Data centers can improve energy efficiency in many ways, by purchasing Energy Star qualified servers and ensuring that all HVAC equipment functions properly, among other things. For more information, visit energystar.gov/datacenters.