Data centres

A data centre is a building space filled with IT equipment: servers, storage, networking equipment, but also cooling equipment and power supplies.

Facts about data centres:

  • Data centres consume 1% of Canada's electricity.
  • It is estimated that the amount of electricity consumed globally by data centres doubles every five years.
  • One square foot of data centre space can use up to fifty (50) times more electricity than a regular office space.
  • Servers use only around 40% of a data centre's electricity. Another 40% goes to cooling these servers; and another 10% goes to power supplies losses.

Conservation measures can dramatically reduce the electricity consumed by data centres.


  • Virtualization of servers
  • Cool aisle / hot aisle configuration
  • Purchase of ENERGY STAR qualified equipment, such as servers
  • Energy efficient cooling units
  • Temperature monitoring and adjustment (avoid over cooling)

For more information on ENERGY STAR qualified servers, visit the ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment web page

Creation of a system of best practices for data centre operators : NYSERDA and GDCA

NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) aims at helping New York meet its energy goals: reducing energy consumption, promoting the use of renewable energy sources, and protecting the environment.

The GDCA (Green Data Centre Alliance) was created as a neutral foundation to find, review, implement, and track Green initiatives inside the data center envelope.

NYSERDA and the GDCA have recently launched a $500,000 initiative to test data centre best practices in the State of New York. Best Practices proposed by the GDCA are available for free to everyone to look at; results of the pilot projects in New York state will also be useful to the international community. For more details, please consult this press release.

Please continue to visit this page on a regular basis to learn more about data centres.