WASHINGTON, D.C. – (Real EstateRama) — Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Adam Kinzinger’s (R-IL) legislation to in crease efficiency of federal data centers passed the House by a unanimous voice vote. The legislation, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (H.R. 306), directs the Executive branch to harness information and communications technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use within the federal government.
“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,” Congresswoman Eshoo said. “This legislation will reduce the federal government’s energy use, save taxpayer dollars, and set the standard for the private sector. I’m pleased to see this important policy once again pass the House, and I look forward to its swift consideration in the Senate.”
“I’m proud to co-lead this bill which will improve federal agency cooperation and deployment of energy-efficient information technology. With H.R. 306, our goal is to save taxpayer money and reduce energy consumption at our federal data centers. I’m grateful to my colleague Rep. Eshoo for helping me bring this important issue to the House floor today and to all my House colleagues who helped it secure passage,” Congressman Kinzinger said.
Similar versions of the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act authored by Rep. Eshoo passed the House in both the 113th and 114th Congresses by wide bipartisan margins. Rep. Eshoo first authored language in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, requiring a Report to Congress on the energy use and costs of data centers. This report was transmitted to Congress in 2007 and has served as an important driver of both private and public investment in energy efficiency in data centers.
Data centers account for nearly 2 percent of all U.S. electricity consumption and 10 percent of the federal government’s electricity consumption. Improving energy efficiency at the federal government’s nearly 2,000 data centers could significantly reduce the government’s energy use and save billions in taxpayer dollars. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions found that widespread adoption of energy efficient information technologies could save the federal government more than $5 billion in energy costs through 2020.
The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collaborate with each federal agency to create a strategy for the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy efficient and energy saving information and communication technologies and practices. Examples of these technologies and practices include advanced metering infrastructure; efficient data center strategies; improving IT asset utilization levels; building energy management; and secure telework and travel substitution tools.
Section 3 of the bill focuses on improving the energy efficiency of federal data centers, including measures that will lay the groundwork for private sector improvements in data center energy efficiency. Specifically, the bill codifies the existing Data Center Energy Practitioner (DCEP) Program at DOE, which trains practitioners to inspect and evaluate the energy efficiency of data centers. The bill also establishes an Open Data Initiative for the purpose of making federal data center energy usage data available in a way that empowers further data center innovation, and requires DOE to develop a new metric to measure overall energy efficiency of data centers, and to work toward harmonizing international metrics for data center energy efficiency.
The text of the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act is available here