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House Passes Eshoo/Kinzinger Bill to Increase Government Energy Efficiency

September 9th, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the bipartisan legislation of Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) to increase energy efficiency at government data centers. The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act directs federal agencies to harness best practices and energy-saving technologies to reduce energy use within the federal government’s data centers.

“This legislation brings the federal government’s IT and data centers into the 21st century,” Congresswoman Eshoo said. “The government operates over 2,000 data centers to store everything from Social Security tax records to e-books at the Library of Congress, and the Department of Energy estimates that their energy usage could be slashed in half simply by implementing best practices and existing technologies.”

“The importance of data centers in the everyday lives of Americans often goes unnoticed, but the federal government certainly depends on these energy-consuming servers as use continues to grow,” said Congressman Kinzinger. “The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act will deliver savings to the American taxpayers by increasing energy efficiency, reducing overall energy consumption, and eliminating e-waste in these data centers. I’m proud that the House passed this legislation again today and will continue to lead efforts to improve energy efficiency across the federal government.”

Background

The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to collaborate with each federal agency to create a strategy for the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy efficient and energy saving information and communication technologies and practices. Examples of these technologies and practices include advanced metering infrastructure; efficient data center strategies; improving IT asset utilization levels; building energy management; and secure telework and travel substitution tools. These improvements at the federal government’s nearly 2,000 data centers will significantly reduce the government’s energy use and save billions in taxpayer dollars.

Similar versions of the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act authored by Rep. Eshoo passed the House in 2014, 2016, and 2017 by wide bipartisan margins. Rep. Eshoo first authored provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, requiring a Report to Congress on the energy use and costs of data centers. This report was provided to Congress in 2007 and has served as an important driver of both private and public investment in energy efficiency in data centers.

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