A New Green Gold Standard

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But developing the rating is a complicated process, and much work remains to be done. One of the primary goals was to get buy-in from key industry stakeholders, including experts working on metrics development and a large number of data center owners and operators. After all, what's the point of developing a tool if people might not use it? Well, I'm pleased to report that after discussions with a diverse group of stakeholders, it was decided that the Energy Star 1-to-100 rating will be most effective if it is based on a ratio of total facility energy use to energy used by the IT equipment. Most people know this metric as PUE or DCiE. For Energy Star, the rating will be based on the average ratio for the facility, calculated from 12 months of actual measured data.

The release of the Energy Star rating for data centers will mark the culmination of more than two years of work by the EPA and hundreds of stakeholders. The agency is now nearing the end of a 12-month effort to collect data on energy use and operations from over 100 data centers of all types and sizes. This data, which is being supplied by dozens of forward-thinking organizations, will serve as the foundation for the development of Energy Star's unique comparative energy-efficiency metrics.

But the Energy Star rating for data centers won't be the end of the story. The EPA's ultimate goal is to refine the rating so that it is based on measures that compare the output or work from the data center with its energy use.

Our agency thanks the industry for its support of this difficult endeavor, and we look forward to awarding the first Energy Star labels to data centers, to show all Americans that data centers are part of the climate solution.

Michael Zatz is manager of Energy Star commercial buildings at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For more information, visit www.energystar.gov/datacenters.

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Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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