House Passes Federal Data Center Energy Standards

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The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would put energy efficiency standards on Federal data centers.

The bill requires the Office of Management and Budget to collaborate with Federal agencies on plans to purchase and use energy efficient data center technologies. Agencies could use advanced metering infrastructure and secure telework and travel substitution tools to create efficient data center strategies.

The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (HR 306) was sponsored by Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill. The bill passed unanimously by voice vote. Eshoo sponsored similar legislation in the past two congresses, which both passed. The bill is waiting for the Senate to vote on it.

“As the nation’s largest energy user, landowner, and employer, the Federal government should lead by example to improve the energy efficiency of its technology equipment and data centers,” Eshoo said. “This legislation will reduce the Federal government’s energy use, save taxpayer dollars, and set the standard for the private sector.”

Data centers account for 10 percent of the Federal government’s electricity usage. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions found that widespread adoption of energy efficient information technologies, including energy solutions at the more than 2,000 Federal data centers, could save the Federal government more than $5 billion in energy costs through 2020.

The bill also issues guidelines for private sector energy efficiency standards. The bill includes the Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP) Program at the Department of Energy, which trains technicians to evaluate the energy efficiency of data centers. The bill also includes an open data initiative, which lays out a way to improve future data center regulations by making energy usage information available to the public. The bill allows DOE to measure overall energy efficiency of data centers using new methods to standardize the way the energy efficiency data is collected.

“I’m proud to co-lead this bill which will improve Federal agency cooperation and deployment of energy-efficient information technology,” said Kinzinger. “With HR 306, our goal is to save taxpayer money and reduce energy consumption at our Federal data centers.”

Morgan Lynch
About Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.
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