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Private Companies, Federal Agencies and National Labs Join Better Buildings Challenge to Drive Greater Efficiency in U.S. Data Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As a part of the Administration’s effort to support greater energy efficiency through the Better Buildings Challenge, the Energy Department today announced the first data center owners and operators who have committed to reduce their energy use by at least 20 percent over the next decade. Data centers consumed about 100 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity in the U.S last year and that number is expected to grow as more information is shared and stored online.

“Through the Better Buildings Challenge, public and private sector partners are demonstrating leadership through their efforts to save money by saving energy,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. “As the Better Buildings Challenge expands, leading organizations are partnering with the Department to apply energy efficiency measures and energy management strategies that will shape the nation’s next-generation of data centers. In fact, if all data centers were 20 percent more efficient, the nation could save more than 20 billion kWh of electricity by 2020, which would result in roughly $2 billion in cost savings.”

The 19 new partners joining the Better Buildings Challenge today include national laboratories; federal agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Defense, and the Social Security Administration; as well as companies including CoreSite Realty Corporation, ebay inc., and Staples. These partners are pledging to improve the efficiency of data centers which altogether are currently consuming more than 90 megawatts of power:

·       „Argonne National Laboratory

·       „CoreSite Realty Corporation

·       „U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Information Systems Agency

·       „Digital Realty

·       „ebay, inc.

·       „Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

·       „U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

·       „The Home Depot

·       U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration

·       Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

·       Los Alamos National Laboratory

·       „Michigan State University

·       National Aeronautics and Space Administration

·       „National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center

·       „National Renewable Energy Laboratory

·       „Schneider Electric

·       „U.S. Social Security Administration

·       „Staples

·       U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Similar to other partners in the Better Buildings Challenge, new data center partners commit to reducing their energy use by 20 percent and improving the efficiency of the infrastructure across their building portfolio. These upgrades will complement the installation of new emerging IT systems or technologies. Half of the energy supplied to a typical data center is used in the cooling and power infrastructure, such as management of air flow and optimization of controls.

In the first year, partners will share their results, report on the associated energy and cost savings, and will also develop an energy metering plan, a showcase project and implementation model. These solutions will be made available on the Better Buildings Challenge website.

As a cornerstone of the President’s Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Challengesupports the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments. Currently, more than 200 organizations are partnering with the Department of Energy to achieve 20 percent portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that will maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, Better Buildings Challenge partners have completed upgrades to more than 9,000 facilities with 2,100 buildings improving efficiency by least 20 percent, and another 4,500 by at least 10 percent, compared to their baseline years.