A number of activities supported by the Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) assist in making data centers more energy efficient. These activities and accompanying resources include the purchase of energy- and water- efficient products, project financing, and institutional change for sustainability.
Federal agencies are required to purchase energy- and water-efficient products under five different legal authorities. For most covered data center-related product categories the requirement is to buy ENERGY STAR certified products. More specifically, if purchasing a server, UPS, storage unit, or large networking equipment, buyers should look for the ENERGY STAR star label or see certified products on the ENERGY STAR website to make sure the model being purchased is listed. Minimum efficiency levels for HVACs and other commercial equipment are set by FEMP.
Energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) and utility energy service contracts (UESCs) allow agencies to do energy projects with minimal up-front capital cost and no special appropriations from Congress. Both ESPCs and UESCs can include data center improvements.
Institutional change integrates behavior with technologies and policies, recognizing that all three need to align to make a significant and lasting difference. The 5-Step Framework for Institutional Change helps focus efforts for data center energy efficiency and provides guidance on how to shift behaviors to support the desired outcomes.