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Eshoo Data Center Efficiency Legislation Passes House

March 14th, 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), Ranking Member of the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, issued the following statement on House passage of her legislation to increase efficiency at federal data centers. The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act (H.R. 1268) passed by voice vote with no opposition.

“Today, the world generates more data in twelve hours than was generated in all of human history prior to 2003,” Eshoo said. “This data must be stored and processed at data centers which are the backbone of the 21st century economy but can be highly energy inefficient. My legislation saves the federal government energy and taxpayer dollars by requiring the use of energy efficient and energy saving technologies, specifically in federal data centers. I’m pleased to see this important policy once again pass the House, and I look forward to its swift consideration in the Senate.”

Background

As the nation’s largest landowner, employer, and energy user, Eshoo’s data center legislation makes the federal government a leader in improving the energy efficiency of its more than 2,000 data centers. Specifically, the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act would:

  • Require federal agencies to coordinate with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in developing plans to purchase and use more energy efficient technologies and practices, along with periodic evaluation of federal data centers for energy efficiency.
  • Require an update to a 2007 Report to Congress originally requested by Rep. Eshoo that has formed the baseline for data center energy efficiency since its release, but is 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.

The Department of Energy estimates that implementation of best practices alone could reduce the government’s data center energy bill by 20 to 40 percent. With investments in the latest technologies, experts estimate that most data centers could slash their energy use by 80 to 90 percent. Overall, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions found that widespread adoption of energy efficient information technologies could save the federal government over $5 billion in energy costs through 2020.

The language of the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act has already passed the House in the 114th Congress as part of H.R. 8, and it is also included in the Senate comprehensive energy legislation which is currently being debated.

 

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