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215 Data Centers to Participate in EPA Study

At least 215 data centers have volunteered to provide data on their energy usage to the EPA to help develop an Energy Star standard for data center facilities.

At least 215 data centers have volunteered to provide data on their energy usage to the Environmental Protection Agency, which hopes to use the information to develop an Energy Star certification for data center facilities. That's a huge improvement from mid-May, when just 54 facilities had agreed to participate, well below the agency's goal of 100. The EPA extended its original deadline of June 1 by a month, and will get underway this week with more than twice as many facilities as initially hoped.

The EPA has been looking for data centers of at least 1,000 square feet to voluntarily provide energy use data that will help develop the Energy Star Data Center Infrastructure Rating, which will help data center operators and their customers evaluate the energy efficiency of specific facilities. Participants must collect 12 consecutive months of IT and building (whole building if stand-alone or data center portion only if within a larger building) energy use data, and submit the data by June 1, 2009. Additional details and instructions on how to participate are available at the Energy Star web site (PDF).

Andrew Fanara of the EPA's Energy Star program announced the enlarged enrollment Thursday at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's Data Center Energy Summit in Santa Clara, Calif. The EPA has provided participants with assurances that any information shared will be masked and untraceable.

In his comments at the SVLG event, Fanara also addressed concerns that the government may eventually regulate data center energy usage in some form.

"I am not aware of any one planning any regulation of the data center industry," said Fanara. "There may be climate legislation at some point, but that's a broader issue."