Companies Lose $4 Billion a Year to Data Center Inefficiencies

Last Updated Aug 20, 2007 4:47 PM EDT

Companies Lose $4 Billion a Year to Data Center InefficienciesU.S. businesses are losing $4 billion a year in energy costs through inefficient equipment and operations at data centers, an Environmental Protection Agency report released today reveals. That's one big leak. How much is seeping out of your company's data center?

The document entitled, "Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency," presents some key facts of interest to managers:

  • "data centers consumed about 60 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, roughly 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption"
  • "existing technologies and strategies could reduce typical server energy use by an estimated 25 percent, with even greater energy savings possible with advanced technologies"
So what can you do if you think your data center is bleeding energy and dollars? GreenBiz.com reports today on a new service provided by Emerson Network Power that can help businesses identify problems with cooling and electricity systems at their data centers. The assessment, done on site, uses "computational fluid dynamics" to create " a visual image showing data center air flow, temperature, hot spots and zones that can negatively impact a computer's performance."
Investing in efficient technology or a professional assessment of the thermal and electrical weaknesses of your data center could be costly, but so are the energy and equipment inefficiencies that are likely lurking there. And so are are system failures. A survey conducted by Emerson found that "38 percent of large businesses estimate that a full business day of downtime could generate $500,000 in lost revenue," and "sixty percent of respondents expect to have at least one power outage in the following year."

If your data center is leaking energy, it is also leaking dollars. An investment in new technology or a professional assessment of your system's weaknesses, could save you money in the long term. Plus it's not bad for the environment.

(Image of leaky faucet by cursedthing, CC 2.0)

  • Jessica Stillman On Twitter»

    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.