High Carbon IT Managers Must Act Before Legislation

IT managers who are not actively managing their energy consumption are introducing unnecessary business risk and condoning waste. The IT industry has received yet another wake up call as Chancellor Alistair Darling announced plans that could lead to the compulsory building of ‘zero carbon’ commercial buildings, including data centres, by 2019.

There is a lot of debate about how ‘zero carbon’ will be defined and measured, but very little evidence that IT managers and their boardrooms are planning any action. As the IT sector has recently been exposed as one that generates an identical tonnage of CO2 emissions to aviation, there can be no excuse for its continuing £multi million wastefulness and unchecked production of Mega Tonne upon Mega Tonne of unnecessary and harmful CO2.

Mr Darlings budget report says, “Achieving this goal [zero carbon] will establish Britain amongst the world leaders … saving approximately 75 Mega Tonnes of CO2 …” While the current consultation process will determine the detail, politicians of all flavours will drive this hard, and its effects will not be confined to newly built, non-domestic buildings.

Either through ignorance or lack of awareness, IT management and the board room look the other way when it comes to energy management. Energy management technologies like Intelligent Power Management can be retro-fitted to existing data centres and should always be designed into new buildings. With energy savings of 30% regularly achieved, this can initiate a continuing process of multi-million pound savings for an average data centre. Savings that continue to rise with energy price inflation. The generous 30% capital tax allowance, bolster investment returns which when this technology is intelligently deployed and operated, are fast and plentiful. The justification for Intelligent Power Management is totally compelling.

Paul Eo, of cabling and data centre management specialist LS, in response to Mr Darlings announcement said, “LS has seen this problem (burgeoning CO2 emissions from IT) coming, and our long-term research investment has produced management tools that allow IT managers to be informed, intelligent, and proactive about their use of energy. Installing intelligent Power Management alone frequently leads to energy savings of 30% or more.”