Demand response program reduces power consumption


San Francisxo, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 10, 2008 – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E’s) voluntary critical peak pricing (CPP) program is designed to curtail energy load during the summer to offset the possibility of an energy emergency; the utility offers seasonal discounts to single-building customers that reduce or shift their energy usage away from peak periods. PG&E provides natural gas and electric service to approximately 15 million people throughout a 70,000-square-mile service area.

As a second-year participant in the program, 365 Main reduced power consumption during CPP events and saved $54,000 in utility costs at its San Francisco data center in 2007. This is the largest CPP savings among all data center companies in PG&E’s coverage area. In total, 365 Main saved 7,477 kWh during the CPP events in 2007 when the company was able to curtail power usage below its energy-consumption baseline.

"365 Main’s leadership and experience in participating in innovative high-tech demand response programs enhances PG&E’s efforts to reduce data center energy usage in peak periods," said Steve McCarty, Director of Demand Response Programs at PG&E. "As the spotlight intensifies on data centers as energy consumers, we’re pleased to help 365 Main do its part to reduce peak consumption."

CPP events are generally triggered by temperature but may also be activated by PG&E as warranted by extreme system conditions. PG&E customers who belong to the CPP program are given financial incentives to reduce or shift their energy usage away from peak periods during CPP events. During an event, electric rates for these customers are higher than average during the 72 annual CPP event hours, but electric rates are lower than normal on all non-event days during the summer, which starts May 1 and ends October 31. PG&E notifies CPP participants by 12 noon on the weekday before a CPP event.

According to the Report to Congress on Server and Data Center Energy Efficiency by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (August 2007), data centers consumed about 60 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, roughly 1.5% of total U.S. electricity consumption. The energy consumption of servers and data centers doubled in the past five years and is expected to almost double again in the next five years to more than 100 billion kWh, costing about $7.4 billion annually.

In May 2007, 365 Main became the first data center developer and operator to commit to full compliance with the building certification system put forth by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit organization of leaders from every sector of the building industry.