In an exclusive interview with Computer Weekly, available as a podcast, Andrew Fanara, who works in the product specifications development team at the US Environmental Protection Agency, said the goal of the programme was to make it easy for IT directors to identify the most efficient datacentre servers and components.
He said he expected Energy Star-rated equipment to be more expensive than non-rated products, but predicted that in the long run prices would fall as businesses made an Energy Star rating part of their procurement requirements.
"There is a crisis because the cost of providing energy is rising and some datacentre hotspots risk being unable to get enough power to run the datacentres," said Fanara.
He said the first phase of Energy Star's programme would focus purely on efficiency "to reduce demand for electricity and create more supply", since for every watt of electricity used to power servers datacentres were typically consuming two to three watts on cooling.
Fanara said CIOs should look at inefficient use of power and cooling in all datacentre components, from routers to servers and in other network equipment - across the whole power delivery infrastructure.
"Datacentre operators really need a plan to do the tasks that are most cost-effective to deliver savings to an enterprise," he added.
"Worldwide, the cost of electricity is going up, and while some businesses may have the option to relocate their datacentres to areas where there is a cheap and abundant electricity supply, many more will not have that option.
"Datacentres represent a great opportunity for companies to cost-effectively reduce energy consumption, particularly during peak times. At the same time, their efforts will contribute towards the global challenge of tackling climate change."
Related article: Datacentre efficiencies 'need review'
Related article: How to make money by going green
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Far from being green, IT equipment such as desktop PCs and servers running in datacentres, are contributing to global warming. They are putting massive demands on the electricity grid. Worldwide, the cost of electricity is going up, and while some businesses may have the option to relocate their datacentres to areas where there is a cheap and abundant electricity supply, many more will not have that option. Listen to Cliff Saran's interview with Andrew Fanara from the US Environmental Protection Agency on the Energy Star programme for datacentre energy efficiency.
Listen to: Andrew Fanara Part 2
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This was first published in March 2007