Energy Star launches server initiative

Now that it has received presidential approval, the
Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program has
kicked off its study on the feasibility of building more
energy-efficient servers.


The agaency has 180 days to submit a study to Congress detailing
its findings.


Last week, President Bush signed intolaw HR 5646, which calls on the EPA to study and promote
the use of energy-efficient servers in the United States.


“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,”
Energy Star program manager Andrew Fanara wrote in a letter sent
yesterday to server component and system manufacturers.


The Energy Star program has long encouraged the usage of
energy-efficient consumer household items. Products meeting the
program’s guidelines for delivering equal performance at
reduced electricity consumption get the Energy Star approval, which
manufacturers can use as a customer marketing tool. Thus far more
than 35,000 items, ranging from refrigerators to battery chargers,
carry the Energy Star label. The program estimates that Energy Star
products saved more than $12 billion in energy use in 2005.


Data center power consumption threatens to become anissue in large organizations in the years to come. Most
organizations will buy more servers, and these servers will use
more power. Organizations may face rising utility bills and even
power shortages should this trend continue, the program
contends.


Energy Star officials have already spent thislast year meeting with industry personnel, hoping to get a
better idea of what would go into a specification for servers.
Officials looked at ways of standardizing testing and reporting
procedures on energy usage, as well as writing consumption
benchmarks for data centers.


“Because Energy Star works across such a broad variety of
industries, we’re in a good position to bring together
stakeholders from different product areas to have a dialogue about
what might be possible,” Andrew Fanara told GCN in an earlier
interview.



About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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