Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) introduced today the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, legislation to save the federal government energy and money by requiring the use of energy efficient and energy reduction technologies, particularly in federal data centers.
"Every two days, the world generates more data than in all of human history prior to 2003. That data is stored and processed in vast, highly inefficient data centers," said Rep. Eshoo, Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee. "With federal data centers accounting for 10 percent of all U.S. data center energy use, government should lead by example in improving energy efficiency. The rising importance of data centers in our everyday lives goes unnoticed, but the importance of energy efficiency should not."
"I am committed to the fight against government waste, that's why I came to Washington," said Rep. Rogers. "The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act is a perfect example of legislation that will promote energy efficiency in the federal government while also saving taxpayers money. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Eshoo and the Energy & Commerce Committee in the 113th Congress to pass this common sense legislation."
"For the federal government, as it does for society, technology has the power to drive up innovation and productivity and drive down energy consumption. The end result: better services and lower costs for the taxpayer. The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act would put in place greater incentives for smart technologies to reduce federal energy consumption and emissions, while achieving substantial cost savings, improved productivity, and better value for the American people," explained Dean Garfield, president & CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). "We appreciate the leadership that Rep. Eshoo and Rep. Rogers provide in this arena, and applaud their bipartisan legislation."
Last fall, the New York Times reported that "data centers can waste 90 percent or more of the electricity they pull off the [power] grid," running their facilities at maximum capacity around the clock out of fear of a surge in demand that could crash the system. These data centers now consume an estimated 2 percent of all electricity in the U.S. each year. Federal data centers make up 10 percent of all U.S. data center energy use, which translates to an estimated $600 million in energy costs in 2010 alone. The National Resources Defense Council estimates that implementation of new technologies and best practices could reduce the government's data center energy bill by 50 percent or more, saving the taxpayers $300 million annually.
In light of growing data center energy use and at no cost to taxpayers, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act would:
Require federal agencies to coordinate with OMB in developing plans to move toward more energy efficient technologies, along with annual evaluation of federal data centers for energy efficiency.
Require an update to a 2007 Report to Congress that has formed the baseline for data center energy efficiency since its release, but is very much in need of an update.
Create 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, while protecting national security interests.
A one page summary of the bill can be found here.