August 9, 2012 – Illinois power provider ComEd will plug in energy efficiency incentives and expertise to data center owners and operators as part of increased recognition of huge power needs and opportunities with U.S. data management operations.

ComEd plans to work with new and existing data center designers, owners and tenants to tighten facility operations efficiencies and provide per kilowatt hour financial incentives. Account managers from the utility who specialize in data center power would work with data center managers to reduce utility bills by offsetting the cost of building or modernizing equipment and facilities. They did not specify amounts.

The program is an extension of the energy provider’s Smart Ideas for Your Business program, which last year aided IT infrastructure provider Latisys in installing advanced cooling systems with reduced use costs at a Chicago data center.

ComEd, or Commonwealth Edison Company, a unit of national energy provider Exelon Corporation, serves nearly 4 million customers in northern Illinois, including approximately 60 data centers, half of which are in Chicago.

The new incentives announced by ComEd join a small but growing group of energy providers like Pacific Gas & Electric offering reductions from the power side of the equation for green-thinking data centers.

ComEd also holds hope that the energy efficiency program slated for the Chicagoland area would stoke “business development in the digital economy sector.”

"The reliance on digital technology to support virtually everything we do is increasing on an almost daily basis and businesses count on uninterrupted power to support all of that technology," said Val Jensen, ComEd's senior vice president of Customer Operations, in a statement on the program.

Federal agencies have worked with IT and data organizations to outline best practices for data center efficiencies over the last few years, and the U.S. government is well on its way to closing or consolidating 800 of its data centers. Even with an increasing number and size of data centers, they are powering up at a lower rate of growth, and tech vendors like HP and others are presenting frameworks to get that energy impact down to zero.

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