According to figures gathered from a recent data centre survey, by 2016 data centres in the UK will use over 36% of the UK’s industry power. That’s a lot by anyone’s measure so anything that can help drive the optimisation of your data centre should surely be seen as a blessing? Well you would think so yet the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme(ESOS), the new EU legislation which monitors energy management and comes into force at the end of the year, is being viewed by many as just more onerous regulations, sapping vital resources.
The scheme is mandatory for all businesses with over 250 employees and companies that fail to comply risk large penalties. Figures from the Energy Institute estimate that 14,000 businesses in the UK fall within the scope of ESOS and are legally obliged to comply with the requirements by December – in less than 3 months.This is likely to greatly affect the data centre sector as the power drawn on the IT Load and supporting infrastructure will be subject to compliance.
I do agree that this legislation is rather complex and, as it is still early days, it can be hard for organisations to see how it will impact their businesses. This is particularly the case with regards to colocation so our audit specialists here at Keysource contacted the Environment Agency to gain clarification on how this new legislation affectscolocation data centre operators. It found that both the provider and client are likely to have obligations within a colocation data centre due to both having ownership of equipment that draws energy. In fact The Environment Agency suggested that, where both the operator and tenant are within the scheme, ESOS compliance should be the responsibility of the party who would be most able to easily action the measures recommended during the audit. Good to know.
However despite the lack of clarity and the complex nature of ESOS, I actually think that it will be a good thing for the industry and could benefit both data centre operators and tenants. Let’s be honest, the basis of the Directive, which is in simple terms the requirement for large companies to carry out regular energy audits of their operations, can only be a good thing. It means you will be getting a better understanding of your energy sources and your consumption. Once you have these you can then identify actionable energy reducing measures which could likely help you to save energy and reduce your operating costs. What’s not to like?
I’m not saying that ESOS is without its challenges but companies could see real benefits. That said there is no doubt that specialist buildings such as data centres present a unique and complex set of challenges. With over 30 years’ experience at Keysource we are experts when it comes to identifying opportunities and implementing solutions for energy efficiency in data centres and other critical environments. Combined with our experience of compliance this makes us the ideal partner to assist with your ESOS compliance.
Our professional qualified auditing and compliance department works across industry sectors with a focus on critical environments. Supported by our in house team of professional design and project engineers our focus is to deliver real business results, not just reports.
In conclusion I would suggest that companies don’t view this as just another expensive and time consuming piece of compliance legislation, but as an opportunity to reduce power usage, save money and be kinder to the planet. Surely it’s a win win?
About the author
Justin Busk, Head of HSE at Keysource and is responsible for developing Keysource’s H&S culture, vision and values. Justin has a proven track record in effective H&S management and industry leading culture and has been involved with construction projects, for: EDS – Data Centre; Transport for London – Palestra; Network Rail – St Pancras International; Shell – Renewal; MOD – Aspire Defence; and the Olympic Delivery Authority – Olympic Park Velodrome.