Presidential order on energy efficiency may echo inside federal HPC centers

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Last week President Obama issued an Executive Order declaring that

Federal agencies shall increase energy efficiency; measure, report, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from direct and indirect activities; conserve and protect water resources through efficiency, reuse, and stormwater management; eliminate waste, recycle, and prevent pollution; leverage agency acquisitions to foster markets for sustainable technologies and environmentally preferable materials, products, and services; design, construct, maintain, and operate high performance sustainable buildings in sustainable locations; strengthen the vitality and livability of the communities in which Federal facilities are located; and inform Federal employees about and involve them in the achievement of these goals.

And this comes with the usual Obama flair for the open: the order also has language directing agencies to account for benefits and costs (including “social” benefits and costs) and report results in a “transparent” way.

IT is called out specifically; page 5, paragraph “h”, section (i) details “electronics stewardship”:

  • ensuring procurement preference for EPEAT- registered electronic products;
  • establishing and implementing policies to enable power management, duplex printing, and other energy-efficient or environmentally preferable features on all eligible agency electronic products;
  • employing environmentally sound practices with respect to the agency’s disposition of all agency excess or surplus electronic products;
  • ensuring the procurement of Energy Star and FEMP designated electronic equipment;
  • implementing best management practices for energy-efficient management of servers and Federal data centers;

Most of this doesn’t apply directly to our community, but there is language that 95% of “new contract actions including task and delivery orders, for products and services with the exception of acquisition of weapon systems, are energy-efficient.” And that one probably will have an impact, especially on the high visibility federal programs like those in the DOE, DOD, and NASA.

Center directors, get ready for an avalanche of cold calls from green consultants.


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