PORTLAND, Ore., April 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- With growth in the number and complexity of data centers, the amount of electricity they consumed globally increased 19 percent between 2011 and 2012*. So, it makes sense that many electric utility companies ("utilities") are turning their attention to influencing the data center and information technology (IT) markets with financial incentives, outreach and education programs. But how effective are these incentives at promoting energy efficiency in data centers?
The Green Grid Association, a non-profit global consortium dedicated to driving resource efficiency in data centers and IT, set out last year to determine the influence of utility incentives on data centers and if incentive programs can be adapted to achieve better results. Today, the organization is releasing the results of its research within a new white paper, titled "Green Carrots: Utility Incentive Programs and the IT Industry."
"The concept of utility incentives designed specifically for data centers is still a fairly new one. Many data center owners and operators may not be aware of the resources currently invested by utility companies to help promote energy efficiency. And, without adequate participation from them and from more utilities investing in targeted incentive programs for this growing industry, the potential energy and cost efficiencies will not be realized," said Chris Molloy, distinguished engineer in the Global Technology Services organization at IBM and member of the board of directors for The Green Grid Association.
"In researching utility energy efficiency incentive programs targeting the data center sector, we found that while individual utilities have studied the effectiveness of their own programs, no quantitative industry-wide investigation had been done," said Corban Lester, program development manager at Lockheed Martin and Utility Task Force leader for The Green Grid Association. "Results of our research indicate that the biggest opportunity for improvement with utility IT incentive programs lies in market awareness, followed by simplification and streamlining of application processes."
The charter of The Green Grid's Utility Task Force is to advance the body of technical knowledge available to utility energy efficiency program administrators, regulators, partners, and customers. In 2013, it focused on gathering insight from data center end users, vendors (including original equipment manufacturers), and utility energy efficiency program staff. The following recommendations emerged from the results of an online survey combined with feedback from two live polls conducted during The Green Grid's Forum 2013:
- Utilities should take the lead in educating the marketplace by offering informational programs and training about available efficiency programs and services.
- Incentive application processes should be simplified and utility companies should develop and roll out simplified calculation tools to help their customers.
- Utility incentive programs should find ways to address IT equipment, as it is typically the largest energy user in a data center and presents an important opportunity for energy savings.
About The Green Grid
The Green Grid Association is a global consortium of more than 200 member entities - companies, government agencies, educational institutions and individuals - dedicated to advancing resource efficiency in information technology and data centers with a holistic approach, including all IT, facility and infrastructure systems. As the global authority on resource efficient information technology and data centers, The Green Grid spans the entire computing and communications ecosystem – from data centers to personal computers – and provides the global IT industry with metrics, tools and best practices to improve resource efficiency.
The Green Grid does not endorse vendor-specific products or solutions; instead, it seeks to provide industry-wide recommendations on best practices, metrics and technologies that will improve overall resource efficiencies. For membership and other information, visit www.thegreengrid.org.
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*Source: DataCenter Dynamics, "Global Data Center Power 2013."
The Green Grid is a registered trademark of The Green Grid Association.
Media Contact: Judy Racino, The Green Grid Association, +1 512 879 6467, firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE The Green Grid Association