US Government: First Steps

Yesterday the President signed the bill “H.R 5646”:

H.R. 5646, which directs the Environmental Protection Agency to study the energy consumption of Federal and private computer data centers

Our Washington team worked hard, along with others in our industry, to get this through the House over the summer, and then through the Senate this fall. We were interested in this bill for a number of reasons:

  1. It helps to raise awareness to the growing issue of datacenter energy consumption
  2. The EPA has a strong history of facilitating the energy discussion between producers and consumers. If you’ve ever looked at an energy sticker on an appliance or the MPG sticker on a car, then you know what I mean.
  3. The federal government is the largest IT consumer in the world. Bringing energy into their procurement process would have a positive impact on their energy usage, would setoff a big ripple through the industry, and I believe the results would set a strong example for other large IT consumers.

The EPA report that is called for in the bill will be out in 180 days or so, and I’ll report out on it then.