News Brief

Data Centers Now Eligible for Energy Star Rating

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that stand-alone data centers and those incorporated in buildings are eligible for an Energy Star rating.

Eligible centers must be in the top 25% of data centers in terms of energy efficiency as measured by power usage effectiveness (PUE). A common metric in data centers, PUE comes from dividing the power entering the building by the power used to run the computer servers within it.

According to the Uptime Institute, a research organization focused on computer efficiency, the average data center has a PUE of 2.5—for every 2.5 watts that enter the data center, only 1 watt is used to run servers. The rest is used to run cooling systems, battery backup systems, and other equipment. EPA says that data centers account for 1.5% of total U.S. electricity consumption; increasing energy efficiency by 10% would result in a savings of 6 billion kilowatt-hours each year, enough to power 350,000 homes.

The Energy Star eligibility also means that data centers, or office building with more than 10% of their floor area in data centers, are now eligible for a simplified compliance path for the energy efficiency prerequisite and credit in the LEED for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED-EBOM) rating system. More information is available at


Published June 22, 2010 Permalink

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