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UK CRC – global lessons

As the UK data center sector faces the

reality of the Carbon Reduction

Commitment Scheme (CRC) its experiences are being monitored around the world. A commitment to carbon reduction has been made across all ‘developed’ economies and all of these have substantial data center sectors with growing energy needs. There are obvious local diff erences in terms of

My general advice to participants is largely as it was before the Spending Review. I recommend that you put together multi- disciplinary CRC teams and a good management system so you can comply with the scheme and make informed decisions about which energy reduction measures are expedient.

James Ramsay - commercial director and head of CRC at management consultancy Carbon Clear

As DatacenterDynamic’s research shows, the main problem may not be inside the data centre. By Nick Parfi tt, DatacenterDynamics research analyst

political disposition towards carbon-based legislation and taxation, the maturity of the local data centre sector and its perceived importance to the wider economy but the whole history of energy effi ciency in data centers has been characterized by knowledge shared between markets. This gives the experience of the UK CRC scheme wider relevance and application.

A sample of 100 UK data center owners and operators gauged their reaction to a scheme which after a long gestation period and some process of

industry better consultation suddenly

changed as part of the (recently elected) UK Government’s Spending Review process. The principle change is the removal of the incentive whereby


would be rewarded fi nancially for carbon reduction improvement; now revenue from the purchase of carbon allowances will be taken to “support the public fi nances”.


accusation of a “stealth tax” thus emerges as a key sentiment through the survey.

Negative sentiment about this new cost to business and its possible implications


the local data center industry are covered extensively earlier in this magazine. Our research indicates that problems in complying

ENERGY CHARGING IN THE UK Who is responsible for meeting the costs of your energy bills? (% total sample)


with the revised legislation may come as much from outside the data centre as from within.

Starting within the data center, 77% of UK respondents who answered questions sent out in November 2010 have deployed the systematic monitoring of energy use, this includes all of the 74% who say they will have to register for the CRC scheme. The issue of monitoring and reporting obligations is that of least concern among the sample since it is something that organizations required to register are already doing. Three in four operators believe that the CRC scheme is unnecessary since rising energy costs will act as a brake on carbon emission.

The UK CRC scheme impacts across business, this sample depends signifi cantly on IT and data centres since they account for half of all energy consumed by these organizations.

An analysis of expert opinion from DatacenterDynamics London (9th and 10th November 2010) showed fi rms need:

• awareness of the legislation • automated monitoring and analysis of energy consumption

the fl exibility to adapt to an environment of lowering energy consumption


Who takes responsibility for energy usage & environmental performance? (% total sample: multiple responses possible)

13% 27% 29% 41%

Facilities Dept IT dept

7% 24% 13% 13% 47% 11%

Unsure Paid by user dept/units

Paid centrally

Individual business unit heads

Property/ asset managers


Dedicated CSR dept

Chairman/ Board

The information shown above has been derived from research conducted at DatacenterDynamics events.

As with any sample survey the fi ndings may not necessarily be representative of the attitudes or behaviours of the entire population from which the sample has been taken.

© Datacenter Dynamics 2010 This chart may be reproduced on the condition that it is reproduced in full with acknowledgement of the source as ‘Datacenter Research Group, a Division of DatacenterDynamics’. Reproduction for the purposes of publication is permitted only with the written permission of DatacenterDynamics.

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