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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Energy Subcommittee on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) today introduced the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act in an effort to reduce the federal government’s energy consumption and save taxpayer dollars. The bipartisan legislation would require the federal government to develop plans to reduce energy consumption at federal data centers.

"Every private business has to look at ways to save energy and costs at their facilities and the federal government should do the same,” said Risch. “Federal data centers use a tremendous amount of energy and by focusing efficiency efforts there, we will see a great deal of savings for taxpayers. I am pleased to work with Senator Heinrich in introducing legislation that will reduce unnecessary spending."

“This common sense approach will improve energy efficiency at federal data centers across the country, while saving taxpayer dollars at the same time,” said Heinrich. “Finding innovative ways to reduce our energy needs doesn’t only make fiscal sense, it also cuts carbon emissions that harm public health. My home state of New Mexico is already capitalizing on a diversified but rapidly transforming energy sector and stands to benefit from leveraging investments in efficiency projects and innovative technologies.”

 This legislation has strong support from the Information Technology Industry Council and Hewlett-Packard.

“The federal government is one of the biggest operators of data centers and is also the single largest energy user in the U.S.,” said Chris Hankin, ITI senior director for environment and sustainability. “The EEGTA bill would make the federal government smarter and more efficient at no additional cost to the U.S. taxpayer simply by using the latest energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies our companies have pioneered for the marketplace.”

“We applaud the leadership of Senators Jim Risch and Martin Heinrich in addressing our nation’s immediate need to harness next-generation technologies to cut costs and increase productivity while reducing energy usage and improving efficiency at federal data centers," said Maria Cino, vice president, Corporate Affairs, HP. “In an era of lower budgets, constrained resources, and increased concern for the environment, the ‘Energy Efficient Government Technology Act,’ or ‘EEGTA,’ is a common-sense solution which would save money, cut energy consumption, reduce greenhouse gas emission, and provide support for emerging technologies by replacing and consolidating larger, energy-hogging data centers with smaller, next-generation facilities.”

Federal data centers, managed by the Office of Management and Budget, currently consume more than six billion kilowatt-hours of energy every year — the equivalent of powering more than 530,000 households. The total cost to supply federal data centers with this much energy is more than $600 million per year, meaning that this legislation has the potential to save hundreds of millions of dollars in reduced energy costs.