Data Centers & Servers Initiative


This Initiative identifies and recommends program strategies that increase the energy efficiency of data centers and servers by facilitating the industry’s collective understanding of key market players and industry motivations. In order to provide well-informed and effective energy efficiency solutions, members collaboratively build a collective understanding of market opportunities and develop consensus metrics and definitions. They also identify replicable program approaches that generate additional energy savings beyond those resulting from the data center industry’s efforts alone.


Members assess research on decision-making in small and medium embedded data centers and identify advances that inform program design. For instance, the committee identified a binational opportunity to improve program effectiveness in building relationships with midstream trade allies. Effective partnerships with these allies could help programs engage with small and medium embedded data center customers at the right time in the business cycle, enabling them to link energy efficiency measures to customer priorities. This could improve performance and reliability and increase the likelihood of adoption.

CEE continues to work closely with federal partners to advance data center and server efficiency. In 2016, for example, CEE provided the program perspective to EPA on the ENERGY STAR® Enterprise Servers Version 3.0 Draft 1 Specification proposal.

“With rising energy surpluses in the Pacific Northwest as well as added infrastructure costs, BC Hydro requires a sophisticated approach to DSM. As a member of the CEE Data Center Committee, I see value in networking with other members.”David Rogers, BC Hydro

Reducing IT energy consumption impacts other energy intensive end uses. The graph illustrates the cascading effect of reduced IT energy consumption on the other energy end uses in the data center. In this example, one watt saved at the processor saves an additional 1.84 watts throughout the rest of the data center. This illustrates the importance of optimizing IT resources to the overall energy efficiency of the data center.

Data Source:
Energy Logic, accessed January 25, 2015

According a study by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, data centers in the United States consumed an estimated 70 billion kWh in 2014, representing about 1.8% of total US electricity consumption that year.

Over the past year, the Data Centers and Servers Committee investigated energy savings opportunities associated with improving server use. As noted in the graph, improving server use has significant impact on IT energy productivity.

Data Source:
Mark Aggar, “The IT Energy Efficiency Imperative,” p. 4, Microsoft Corporation, June 2011, accessed January 25, 2015

How to Participate

Participation requirements will be determined along with the Board’s adoption of specific Initiative components.


Ameren Missouri

Arizona Public Service

Avista Utilities

Baltimore Gas & Electric Co

BC Hydro

Black Hills Energy

Bonneville Power Administration

California Institute for Energy and Environment


Duke Energy

Efficiency Vermont

Energy Trust of Oregon


Hydro One


Idaho Power

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

Minnesota Department of Commerce

National Grid

New Jersey Natural Gas

New York Power Authority

Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance


Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pepco – Potomac Electric Power Co

PSEG Long Island

Puget Sound Energy

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Salt River Project

Seattle City Light

Snohomish County PUD

Southern California Edison

Tacoma Power

Tennessee Valley Authority

United Illuminating

Xcel Energy