House advances legislation to increase energy efficiency for government data centers

Published on September 12, 2019 by Chris Galford

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The U.S. House of Representatives advanced the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act this week, voting to increase energy efficiency best practices and energy-saving technology at federal data centers.

The legislation — H.R. 1420 — was introduced by U.S. Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA).

“This legislation brings the federal government’s IT and data centers into the 21st century,” Eshoo said. “The government operates over 2,000 data centers to store everything from Social Security tax records to e-books at the Library of Congress, and the Department of Energy estimates that their energy usage could be slashed in half simply by implementing best practices and existing technologies.”

The bill would require the Office of Management and Budget to work with other federal agencies on the maintenance, purchase, and use of energy efficient and energy saving information and communication technologies and practices, such as advanced metering infrastructure, new data center strategies and updates to information technology asset utilization levels. Such improvements could affect all of the federal government’s nearly 2,000 data centers.

“The importance of data centers in the everyday lives of Americans often goes unnoticed, but the federal government certainly depends on these energy-consuming servers as use continues to grow,” Kinzinger said. “The Energy Efficient Government Technology Act will deliver savings to the American taxpayers by increasing energy efficiency, reducing overall energy consumption, and eliminating e-waste in these data centers. I’m proud that the House passed this legislation again today and will continue to lead efforts to improve energy efficiency across the federal government.”

Kinzinger and Eshoo introduced similar versions in 2016 and 2017, which both advanced the House with strong bipartisan support.