Technology Industry Looks to EDF Climate Corps for Energy Savings

Chris Riso | February 4,2013

By: Chris Riso  

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recently announced the first batch of organizations to sign up for energy savings through EDF Climate Corps in 2013. Among the list are quite a few notable technology companies: CA Technologies, DreamWorks Animation, QTS (Quality Technology Services), Sprint, Syniverse and Verizon.   Of course, this is no surprise to us. The technology industry is such a natural fit for EDF Climate Corps. Technology companies from Google to Facebook and eBay to Yahoo! have all reaped the energy-saving benefits EDF Climate Corps has to offer.   Data centers, massive facilities where technology companies keep their servers, are the heart of this industry. Running computers around the clock and keeping them cool requires a lot of energy, and therefore, money.

In the past five years, we’ve seen data center managers become increasingly concerned with energy costs and equipment efficiency. A recent survey of data center managers by Emerson Network Power confirms this. EDF Climate Corps fellows have worked in data centers across industries, in facilities of various sizes, analyzing many new technologies and design strategies.  

  • Last summer EDF Climate Corps fellow Nathan Jayappa worked with DirecTV in its Denver data center, highlighting possible upgrades to the facility’s cooling equipment as well as changes in operating set points to reduce energy consumption. Jayappa also analyzed the potential to implement a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solution, comprehensive software that monitors and optimizes the data center’s functioning. Jayappa's recommendations could save DirecTV over $2.1 million in operating costs over the life of the projects, as well as avoid 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. See a case study.
  • Syniverse, a telecommunications services company in Tampa, engaged EDF Climate Corps fellow Kevin Lehman to analyze the potential of server virtualization and cold air containment strategies in its data centers. These techniques coupled with an upgrade to air conditioning equipment could cut the energy consumed by server rooms by 30 percent. See a case study.
  • EDF Climate Corps fellow Rich Grousset worked with RBS Citizensbank on several initiatives, including the development of a $500,000-plus data center upgrade project that would optimize cooling system fan controls and hot aisle containment. He identified utility incentives and financing options that significantly improve the attractiveness of this project as well. Through this work, RBS Citizensbank could cut annual energy use by over 1 million kilowatt hours per year in its data center, saving over $110,000 in energy costs and nearly 600 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. See a case study.
  • Akamai Technologies, a cloud computing provider and major consumer of colocation services, worked with EDF Climate Corps fellow Pranab Ranjan on a plan to educate colocation providers about efficiency measures and potential cost savings. Ranjan also developed a means to incorporate efficiency metrics into Akamai’s collocation vendor selection process. These and other measures could save Akamai as much as 10 percent of its total colocation costs. See a case study.

Next summer, an EDF Climate Corps fellow can help your organization reduce energy consumption and costs. We are still accepting applications for 2013, but spots are filling up quickly. Apply now.  

For more information about hiring an EDF Climate Corps fellow, email Scott Wood at swood@edf.org.