Better Buildings Challenge drives greater efficiency in U.S. data centers

better_buildings_challenge_headerA group of data center owners and operators has committed to reduce their energy use by at least 20 percent over the next decade through the Better Buildings Challenge. According to the Energy Department, data centers consumed about 100 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in the U.S. last year, a number that is expected to grow.

In the first year, partners will share their results, report on the associated energy and cost savings, and develop an energy-metering plan, showcase project and implementation model. The Energy Department will make each company’s data available on the Better Buildings Challenge website.

The 19 new partners joining the Better Buildings Challenge include four national laboratories—Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Defense and Social Security Administration are among the federal agencies participating in the Challenge. Private industry partners include CoreSite Realty Corporation, eBay Inc., and Staples. These organizations are pledging to improve the efficiency of data centers, which altogether currently consume more than 90 megawatts of power.

As the data management and storage industry continues to grow, improving the energy efficiency of the buildings and operations will be critical to reducing the nation’s carbon footprint. The Better Buildings Challenge supports the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 by working with building owners across the business, industrial, residential, government and education sectors.

Currently, more than 200 Challenge partners have committed to improving the energy intensity of their building portfolios by at least 20 percent over 10 years. The program also provides a forum for matching partners and allies to enhance collaboration and problem solving in energy efficiency. Across the country, Better Buildings Challenge partners have completed upgrades to more than 9,000 facilities with 2,100 buildings improving efficiency by least 20 percent, and another 4,500 by at least 10 percent, compared to their baseline years.