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EPA Signs MOU with The Green Grid to Enhance Energy Efficiency

Release Date: 04/22/2008
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202) 564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - April 22, 2008) On April 21, EPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Green Grid to promote energy efficiency in small computer rooms. This event recognizes the innovative efforts of EPA and the Information Technology (IT) industry to promote the “greening” of computer facilities. The effort begins with evaluating an existing EPA computer room for ways to optimize energy efficiency, then finding ways to standardize processes and performance measures. Ultimately, the goal of this partnership is to share best practices for replication with other governmental agencies and industry stakeholders. Future partnerships between EPA, federal partners, and associations will help design and build our way into a green federal IT infrastructure.

Computer rooms across the United States accounted for an astonishing 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity demand in 2006 - equivalent to the annual electric consumption of the state of Florida. “Throughout the U.S., computer centers are becoming the fastest growing users of energy. As this sector experiences tremendous growth, EPA and The Green Grid see tremendous opportunity,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By investing in energy efficiency in our own computer centers, we are proving that doing what’s good for the environment is also good for the bottom line.” While these computer rooms may be small, they are numerous at EPA and other large organizations, and this effort promises to yield large energy savings.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson and John Tuccillo, a director of The Green Grid, formalized the MOU in a signing ceremony held in Washington, D.C.


Energy Efficiency at the NCC
EPA has already begun reducing energy consumption in its National Computer Center (NCC) in Research Triangle Park, N.C. In FY 2007, EPA initiated numerous energy saving projects at the NCC including high-efficiency lighting, solar panels, and heating and cooling systems designed to prevent energy waste. The NCC achieved a 20.2 percent reduction in total energy use (e.g. gas, electric, etc.) for FY 2007 compared to FY 2006. This reduction surpasses the FY07 Conserve (EPA’s energy tracking and forecasting strategy) goal of five percent for the NCC and equates to a considerable energy cost savings. In addition to recommissioning the entire facility, EPA focused significant effort in improving the energy performance of the computer wing. An extensive third party review of the data center’s operating conditions resulted in EPA shutting off six of the facility’s 13 computer room air conditioning units, while still meeting the sensitive cooling needs of the computer equipment. For more information on energy efficiency at the NCC: http://www.epa.gov/greeningepa/facilities/rtp_ncc.htm For more information on EPA’s energy strategy ConserveE and EPA's FY 2007 Energy Management and Conservation Program Report: http://www.epa.gov/greeningepa/documents/2007energy_report508.pdf


About The Green Grid
The Green Grid is a global consortium of companies dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems. The Green Grid does not endorse any vendor-specific products or solutions, and will seek to provide industry-wide recommendations on best practices, metrics and technologies that will improve overall data center energy efficiencies. Membership is open to companies interested in data center operational efficiency. Additional information is available at: http://www.thegreengrid.org