Data Center Accelerator Toolkit


The energy intensity of data centers means that energy efficiency improvements have the potential to deliver substantial energy and cost savings to an organization. There are dynamics unique to data centers that create a set of underlying drivers, stakeholders, and barriers to data center energy efficiency projects that are distinct from energy efficiency projects generally. The Data Center Accelerator Toolkit collects guidance, factsheets, best practices, and other resources to help navigate these dynamics, based on the work of DOE's Better Buildings Data Center Accelerator.

This toolkit addresses specific barriers and solutions for energy management in 5 primary data center types, including real-world examples for each. In addition, view this interactive guide, developed by the Accelerator's technical experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, for resources on making the business case for data center energy efficiency. Other resources include sector-specific factsheets, webinars, and more.

Data Center Types

Small Data Centers
Facilities under 5,000 square feet of computer floor space. Comprise more than half of all servers in data centers and the largest share of data center load.

Colocation Facilities
Multi-tenant data centers where the owner leases space, power, and cooling to multiple customers, each with varying IT hardware and needs.

Data centers owned and operated by a single company and a critical component to the firm’s operational integrity. Often sizable though not as large as hyperscale.

High-Performance Computing (HPC)
HPC data centers have high server utilization rates and high-power requirements, but typically low availability requirements. Once mainly used by universities and research centers, increasingly being operated by private businesses.

Data centers typically owned by large tech firms, cloud providers, and telecommunications organizations. Massive in size and energy/water requirements. High requirements for continuous, uninterrupted operation.

Building the Business Case for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers

The Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, who served as technical experts to the Data Center Accelerator, developed the following interactive, web-based resource to help project managers identify underlying drivers for data center energy efficiency, win over key stakeholders, and overcome barriers, as they build the business case for driving improvements in their data center. You can learn more about the tool in this webinar.

Sector Factsheets and Other Resources

These factsheets provide an overview of data center best practices by building sector:

Click MORE for additional resources relevant to data center energy efficiency.

Data Center Webinars On Demand
Watch Better Buildings webinars featuring data center partners and other industry experts.

Center of Expertise For Energy Efficiency in Data Centers
The Center of Expertise for Energy Efficiency in Data Centers at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab offers technical support, tools, training, best practices, analyses, and technologies to help federal government agencies and other organizations implement data center energy-efficiency projects.

Data Center Metering and Resource Guide
This guide helps data center owners and operators implement a metering system that allows their organizations to gather the necessary data for effective decision-making and energy efficiency improvements.

Practical Considerations for Metering and Power Usage Effectiveness
Intelligent metering is a prerequisite to effectively managing energy use in data centers. This presentation details metering options for different data center configurations to help facilities managers calculate their data centers' power usage effectiveness.

Data Centers Workshop: Renewable Energy Opportunities
Data center managers are increasingly looking to renewable forms of energy to power their operations. This presentation gives an overview of types of renewable energy, avenues for assistance in developing renewable projects, and ways to evaluate the financial feasibility of renewable energy projects.

About the Data Center Accelerator

DOE's Better Buildings Data Center Accelerator worked with data center owners and operators to accelerate the adoption of system metering, energy management best practices, and bolster institutional change. Throughout the Data Center Accelerator, 21 partners worked to reduce the infrastructure energy intensity of one or more data centers by 25%. Infrastructure energy intensity is measured as Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) minus one. For the Accelerator, energy reduction was calculated as a ratio of the infrastructure energy use compared to IT energy use. On average, Accelerator partners achieved a 36% improvement in data center infrastructure energy intensity, surpassing the Accelerator’s original goal and resulting in annual cost savings of $3.9 million.