Consumers rarely like to receive notice that they will have to pay more for a necessary service or commodity. Companies, even though they have larger budgets, often feel the same. When it comes to electricity rates, users throughout the country object to rate increases, even if it means an investment in more efficient operations.
A recent DatacenterDynamics article highlighted a request by Duke Energy (News - Alert), one of the largest utilities in the U.S. The provider has requested approval for a statewide electrical rate increase throughout South Carolina, suggesting that the increase will compensate for current investments in its generation and transmission capacity.
If this request is approved, those companies consuming data center power could see a significant increase in their utility cost. These organizations easily have some of the highest densities of power per square foot. The increase, which must be approved by the South Carolina Public Service Commission, would jump 15 percent, producing the equivalent of $216 million in revenue for the energy Duke sells in the state.
South Carolina is not necessarily considered to be a hot data center market. The state does, however, have its fair share of data center power users, such as the large Google (News - Alert) data center campus located in Mt. Holly. States such as South Carolina are often attractive for those operating data centers as they offer low energy rates and relaxed regulations.
The proposed rate, if approved, would go into effective in February 2012 and would reportedly not be shared by all users equally. Residential users would see the most increase, at 17 percent on average. A 13 percent rate jump would be absorbed by those consuming data center power, such as industrial customers.
According to Duke, the company needs the extra cash to pay for a number of projects in the works, including the shutting down of a number of generation units, the launch of new ones, technology improvements at power plants and a new infrastructure for new transmission and distribution of power.
Despite the fact that industrial customers will only have to absorb a 13 percent increase in the cost of data center power, this increase will still be significant. The good news is that the data center does have the means to reduce its power usage and consequently reduce its electric bill.
A recent TMCnet piece highlighted the importance of reducing data center power and what data center operators can do within their environments. Based on a ZDnet blog by Bill Detwiler, five practical tips can be implemented within the data center to reduce the consumption of data center power.
Five changes the data center operator can make today include server virtualization, hardware consolidation, KVM and monitor elimination, cooling system examinations and avoid frivolous IT purchases. For more detail on these steps, check out this video on conserving data center power.
Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Carrie Schmelkin