Bill calls for processes to track and reduce data center energy consumption
The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that includes new energy efficiency improvement requirements for the government’s data centers.
The bill, called Energy Efficiency Improvement Act of 2014 (HR 540), consolidates four building energy efficiency bills, one of which calls on regulatory agencies to create and enforce energy efficiency standards for agency data centers. Its sponsors are representative David McKinley, a West Virginia Republican, and Peter Welch, a Vermont Democrat.
It is currently going through committee review in the Senate.,
Michigan representative Mike Rogers, a Republican who supports the bill, said it was written to save taxpayer dollars. “HR 540 would save the federal government energy and money by requiring the use of energy efficient and energy reduction technologies, particularly in federal data centers,” he said in a statement.
One of the legislation’s requirements is for the Office of Management and Budget to create a strategy for buying, maintaining and using energy efficient IT and communications equipment for each agency. Together with the Department of Energy, OMB would be required to create performance goals and a way to measure each agency’s cost savings that result from the improvements.
The bill would also require DOE and the Environmental Protection Agency to study server and data center efficiency trends. The amount of data and data centers have grown massively since the latest report on these trends, which the EPA produced in 2007.
Another provision would codify the DOE’s program for training staff that can assess energy efficiency of government data centers called Data Center Energy Practitioner Program. The bill would require all federal data centers to go through DCEP inspection yearly.
The legislation also calls for creation of an Open Data Initiative through which agencies would share data center energy usage data and for a new metric to measure energy efficiency of data centers.