House backs energy-efficient servers for feds, industry

The House of Representatives has approved a bill that directs the Environmental Protection Agency to assess the potential energy and cost savings of purchasing energy-efficient servers for federal government and business data centers.

On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 5646 by a vote of 417-4.

Studies have shown energy efficient servers can save up to 80 percent in electricity and cooling costs, according to co-sponsor Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.).

Between 2005 and 2009, the U.S. server market is expected to grow from 2.8 million units to 4.9 million units.

This spike in server demand will result in soaring energy costs as data centers consume more power and require more energy to cool, said the bill’s other co-sponsor, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.).

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Server manufacturers applauded the bill’s passage.

“With one billion people online today and that number expected to increase by three million people each week over the next two years, it is important that we take action now to promote energy-efficient data center technologies that reduce energy consumption while meeting increased demand,” said David Douglas, vice president of eco-responsibility at Sun Microsystems. “This would serve as an important step in promoting more environmentally responsible computing for both government and industry.”

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