It’s a fine balance. Managing energy legislation and audits; pressure to reduce environmental impact; the need to offset carbon emissions; ensuring your public image is a green one and that you take Corporate Social Responsibility objectives seriously. It’s obvious energy and power is fundamental to your business. But what’s not so obvious is that over a third of your energy use is probably being consumed by IT.
The immediate reaction might be to email the IT team asking them to become more energy efficient. With most equipment in your datacentre probably already Energy Star certified, this isn’t as easy as it may seem. Turning something off is probably not an option. And let’s not forget that a good percentage of this equipment doesn’t even reside in the datacentre such as PCs, monitors, printers, photocopiers and wireless access points. And then how do you decide what should be turned off and when?
There are massive savings to be made both in terms of energy reduction and the removal of outdated, inefficient equipment which has a knock on effect in other areas. As an example, following an energy audit conducted by Barclays Bank in the UK1, the subsequent findings allowed them to:
- Decommission 9,124 servers
- Save 2.5 MWh of energy ($4.5M in power costs per annum)
- Cut 5,000 Tons of carbon emissions
- Save $1.3M in legacy hardware maintenance costs
- Reclaim 588 server racks
That’s massive. And whilst the results are impressive, the journey to that point was inefficient, expensive, cumbersome and time consuming involving spreadsheets, manual labour and hiring in extra resource.
But imagine for one moment if the same report had also contained information on the equipment’s operating environment such as temperature, and reported on devices out in the carpeted office such as PCs, laptops, monitors, printers and phones. One of the reasons it may not have been included is no automated solution could offer a comprehensive view.
Most organisations may look at this example and balance out the costs of conducting this type of activity, versus the costs of not doing anything. Is it worth it? The “not doing anything” option may appear on the surface as the cheapest, least disruptive and the easiest to accept. In some cases it may be like opening Pandora’s Box. Maybe it’s just convenient not to know and just keep paying the bills.
Putting aside the difficulty in sourcing the information to act upon, hands are now being forced by regional governments and the EU, who are demanding and legislating action is taken by businesses and public sector organisations to proactively reduce energy consumption. So now there is no escape. The EU Energy Efficiency Directive came into force in December 2012 and should have been implemented by all 28 member states by June 2014 and affects everyone including home owners. The most far reaching obligation though within the framework is “for Member States to achieve certain amount of final energy savings over the obligation period (01 January 2014 – 31 December 2020) by using energy efficiency obligations schemes or other targeted policy measures to drive energy efficiency improvements in households, industries andtransport sectors.”
“A lot of businesses will have to start reporting their energy ratings and consumption, especially if they are regulated as we are. But this was not just about compliance. Being environmentally sustainable was always an integral part of our values.”
Jonathan Smith, Finance Director, Equitix
Large enterprises will now be obligated to conduct energy audits at least every four years with the first audit conducted by the 5th December 2015. SME’s will be incentivised to undergo energy audits to help them identify the potential for energy reduction opportunities.
Cisco Energy Management Solution
You may not necessarily associate a company like Cisco™ with Energy Management, but with our EnergyWise solution, we have been in this market for quite some time. With our acquisition of JouleX, a software company that specializes in monitoring and control of the power consumption of any devices attached to networks, we created a solution called Cisco Energy Management (CEM) - created to help organisations reduce IT power consumption in most cases by up to 35%.
What’s even more important (and convenient) is that the solution is agentless, so no device software installation is required – and this means efficiency. Let the software automatically discover and identify every device attached to the network regardless of manufacturer, and provide visibility into its energy consumption and the potential savings.
Once this is done, you can then set policies for the power management of that device – switch it off, put it to sleep, enable it during business hours or however you choose. Monitors, desktops, photocopiers, IP phones, vending machines, wireless access points, lighting and more, managed and monitored through a simple interface with full reporting capability.
- 30 buildings and more than 10,000 devices
- Actual Energy Savings per Annum: $450,000
- Solution ROI: < 6 months
Take advantage of our Energy Management discovery service and we’ll demonstrate the power of Cisco Energy Management and show you the savings in energy you could achieve. Complete this simple form here to register your interest in a no obligation conversation and we’ll do the rest.