By March 11, 2010 Read More →

Developing an IT Project To Maximize Energy Rebates

Energy savings projects for IT equipment or data center facility infrastructure can be applied for under these three energy rebate categories in most cases:
1. Non-Residential New Construction program;
2. Non-Residential Retrofit program;
3. Energy Savings Bid or Custom program.

Utilities with actively funded IT energy rebate programs typically offer these three programs to match the planned IT project requirements. PG&E, for example, offers incentives and energy rebates for retrofit projects as well as incentives and design assistance for new construction projects to help businesses save money and manage energy costs. Custom programs are also available.

The first two programs, New Construction and Retrofit, are for companies that propose energy saving projects. The rewards are based on lower energy use; the more energy saved, the greater the reward, but these programs have rebate caps.

The third program, Bid or Custom, provides financial rewards for businesses that install new, high efficiency equipment or facilities that will generate a minimum amount of kilo-watt hours of energy savings per year. For example, Network Appliance’s new Sunnyvale, California data center, designed to operate at a PUE of 1.3, received a $1.4 million energy rebate from PG&E.

Overview of the Energy Rebate Application Process with Utilities

• The customer applies for energy rebate prior to new IT equipment installation.

• Data Center Rebates prepares the energy rebate application to the utility and negotiates with the utility for approval. This process can be time consuming and on customized projects entails considerable “back and forth” with the utility in order to address its concerns.

• An energy savings calculator (usually a spreadsheet analysis) is used to estimate the energy savings and resulting energy rebate based on the initial 12-month installation period of IT equipment, plus reduction in CO2 emissions.

• The energy savings calculator is provided by Data Center Rebates. Measurements included must be consistent with the utility’s program guidelines.

• No baseline analysis of existing IT equipment is required if a Non-Residential New Construction application is used and if the equipment has been pre-certified by the utility.

Energy Rebate Eligibility for IT Projects

Generally, there are five eligible energy savings measurements for IT equipment and data center facility infrastructure, all of which can be combined. These energy savings incentives outlined below are offered by PG&E. these will vary somewhat from utility to utility across the U.S. and Canada.

1) IT equipment energy efficiency (power and cooling efficiency for servers, storage drives, routers, etc.)
• The rebate is based on the first year’s energy savings calculated.
• 9 cent incentive per kWh saved.

2) HVAC energy efficiency (Air conditioning and refrigeration, including chillers, CRAC Units, etc.)
• The rebate is based on the first year’s energy savings calculated.
• 15 cent incentive per kWh saved.

3) On-Peak Demand Reduction
• The rebate is based on the reduction of kW during On-Peak Demand.
• $100 incentive per kW reduced.

4) Server Reduction due to Consolidation and/or Virtualization.
• The energy rebate is based on the number of physical servers reduced.
• $200 incentive for each server removed.
• Pre- and post-inspection required.

5) State of the art power management practices for IT equipment and data center facilities.
• Optimal energy management can be achieved using application software and sensors.
• IT vendors and utilities are establishing relationships with software providers (e.g., Power Assure, SynapSense) that provide dynamic power management and facilities monitoring capabilities.

Maximum energy rebates offered by utilities under the Non-Residential New Construction program will vary somewhat. PG&E, for example, offers a per-site maximum rebate of $500,000; San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) offers a per-site maximum rebate of $350,000. Under customized energy savings incentive programs, such as the Energy Savings Bid from SDG&E, there are no caps on energy rebates, so energy rebates can easily exceed $500,000 for state of the art enterprise-class IT projects.

Energy Rebate Fulfillment Services

Data Center Rebates professionals provide these key services in order to validate energy savings and energy rebates for IT projects:

• Provide help completing the utilities’ applications for energy rebates.
• Perform all energy savings calculator development, document assumptions, and produce an energy calculator according to utilities’ requirements.
• Document assumptions in the energy savings calculator and summarize the approach for utilities.
• Develop an additional validation report, if needed, to describe the qualifying energy savings and energy rebate associated with the installation of new, efficient IT equipment or data center facility.
• Negotiate with utilities to obtain qualification for energy rebates; assist customers in securing an energy rebate check from the utilities.

Posted in: Energy Rebates

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