Few Agencies Ready for Energy Reduction Mandates

by | Feb 17, 2011

Only 13 percent of federal agencies are ready to comply with energy reduction requirements, according to a survey by an IT efficiency software company.

In an IE survey, 13 percent of federal agencies responding said they were “definitely ready” to comply with federal energy reduction mandates such as executive orders 13514 and 13423, the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative and the OMB Stewardship Scorecard.

More than a quarter of respondents thought that their agency was not required to comply with such mandates. Meanwhile, 23 percent were unaware of these requirements.

Basic awareness of programs varied – 50 percent were aware of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, 38 percent were aware of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Scorecards and 31 percent were aware of executive orders 13423 and 13514.

The respondents’ energy management strategies varied, though consolidating hardware and generating awareness topped their lists of strategies.

“This suggests that energy management is still in its infancy within federal agencies,” 1E president Nick Milne-Home said. “Our experience has taught us that server consolidation and awareness alone do not lead to lasting savings.”

He said that through following the mandatory energy reduction programs, federal agencies could save nearly $6 billion in energy and server costs over the next five years.

Of those surveyed, 58 percent were aware of the problem of “virtual server sprawl”, in which virtual servers are underutilized, but 29 percent do not monitor their virtual servers’ performance to determine if those assets are doing useful work.

Since many respondents said their primary energy management strategy is to consolidate hardware, this suggests that underused virtual servers could become a greater drain on agencies, according to 1E, which sells PC power management and server efficiency tools.

A Kelton Research study for 1E and the Alliance to Save Energy found that virtual server sprawl is leading 4.7 million servers globally to waste $25 billion annually, making it one of the biggest causes of energy and IT operational waste.

In a CDW Government survey last year, 77 percent of government agencies at federal, state, and local levels said they are implementing at least some form of virtualization, including server, storage and client virtualization.

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