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Don’t miss out on a gift to green your data center

Culture | Posted on December 17, 2010 by Melissa Alvares

Data center efficiency projects such as virtualization, consolidation, power and cooling upgrades all have pretty strong business cases and ROI. The reduction in hardware means lower operating and managing costs for your organization.

Many utilities are now sweetening the deal and offering rebates and incentives that put an extra bang into your business case.  Some of these rebates are paid out per kilowatt hour saved (usually 5 – 11cents per kw) and others are a percentage of the overall project costs (anywhere from 35 – 50% of your project cost paid for)

Why would they do this? Utilities are encouraging and rewarding the reduction of electricity demand in data centre operations because the energy consumed by them is growing at an alarming rate. Many projects require a significant financial comittment upfront in order to benefit from the long term energy savings, so rebates and incentives like this are helping organizations take advantage of these technologies sooner and with less financial risk.

What types of technologies are eligible for rebates? That depends. Some utilities have a standard listing of technologies accepted, others work on a proposal or custom application model. Some technologies that are usually eligible are:

Operational and planning actions include:

  • Virtualization
  • Consolidation
  • Standardization
  • Right-sizing
  • Energy-efficient equipment and design
  • Power management and efficiency

IT systems include:

  • Computer systems
  • Server technology
  • Storage devices
  • Other high performance components

Non-IT systems include:

  • HVAC and air flow systems
  • Fans and motors
  • Fire suppression/high-security systems
  • Power supplies and internet connections
  • Controls and management and floor layout
  • Lighting and envelope measures

The most important thing is that you should look into the rebate program BEFORE implementing any data center efficiency project. Many utilities require metering of energy use before a project takes place, so that they can verify your baseline. So make sure to contact your utility at a very early stage of your project to check what technologies are eligible, what applications and baselines are required and what payments could be expected.

Here is a list of some of the utilities that have rebates. If you are unsure if your utility has a rebate, drop us a line at and we can help you look into it.

Utility Rebate Listing

Toronto Hydro: Program can pay up to 50% of the cost of a data center project. Program Info ►

BC Hydro: Financial incentives and tools to help implement server consolidation solutions. Province: British Columbia Program Info ►

Austin Energy: Earn up to $200,000 towards server consolidation. State: Texas Program Info ►

San Diego Gas and Electric: Incentives of 8 cents/kilowatt hour saved. State: California Program Info ►

Southern California Edison:  Incentives of 8 cents/kilowatt hour saved. State: California Program Info ►

Ameren Energy Corporation:  Incentives of 5 cents/kilowatt hour saved. State: Illinois Program Info ►

Arizona Public Service:  Incentives of 11 cents/kilowatt hour saved. State: Arizona Program Info ►

ComEd:  Incentives of 3 – 7 cents/kilowatt hour saved. State: Illinois Program Info►

Energy Trust of Oregon: Up to 35% of project costs State: Oregon Program Info ►

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