Talking energy efficiency with clients

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This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of CRN magazine.

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Talking energy efficiency with clients

1. What is it?

The NABERS Energy for Data Centres rating scheme provides a common set of criteria for assessing data centre energy efficiency. Under the scheme, there are three tools to measure and benchmark the energy efficiency of an organisation’s:

• IT equipment;

• Infrastructure services; and 

• Whole data centre.

2. When was it introduced?

The NABERS rating tool for buildings has been in place for a number of years and the NABERS Energy for Data Centres scheme was introduced in February 2013.

3. Who runs it?

The scheme was developed by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage in collaboration with the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

4. How does it work?

The NABERS Energy for Data Centres rating tools compare the energy efficiency of a data centre against others in the market using a performance rating on a scale of one to six stars. It uses comparable and commonly accessible measurements to benchmark and assess actual performance. The less energy consumed for a given level of computing output, the more efficient the data centre and the higher the NABERS star rating awarded.

5. What does it do for the customer?

The NABERS Energy for Data Centres rating tools help your customers to understand and improve the energy efficiency of their data centres which can lead to significant cost savings over time. It gives them a simple and reliable benchmark that lets them compare the energy performance of their data centres with other Australian organisations. 

For organisations that are seeking to attract or retain tenants, or whose customers have expectations around environmental indicators, a NABERS Energy rating can give them an industry-respected, demonstrable competitive advantage in the market.

 6.  How can I benefit from the scheme as a reseller?

To be able to undertake an accredited assessment, a customer needs to have at least one month, and potentially up to 12 months’ worth of data on their data centre energy consumption, depending on the type of assessment. To make this possible, they require the right equipment and tools in place to meter, measure and monitor energy use in their data centre. 

As a reseller, you have the opportunity to provide them with the right measurement and monitoring products and services that will allow them to receive an accredited NABERS rating for their data centre. Additionally, the discovery process when helping your customer with these preparations often uncovers other sales opportunities for IT and data centre solutions.

 7. How do I start the conversation with my customers?

The first step is to talk to your customer about the energy performance of their data centre and whether or not they have a good understanding of how efficiently their IT operations are using power. 

In many cases, IT or facilities managers have only the most rudimentary measurement and monitoring systems in place, if any at all. 

Ask whether they are familiar with NABERS Energy for Data Centres and talk to them about the benefits they can gain by undertaking an accredited assessment. 

Explain what is required in order to be able to do that and offer them a free data centre assessment to help them identify what measurement and monitoring products and services they need to put in place for the necessary data collection.

 8. Where can I go for more information?

To find out general information about the scheme visit www.nabers.gov.au. For channel-specific NABERS information, data centre assessment advice or for a confidential discussion about how to approach your customers, contact Jason Rylands at DPSA: jason.rylands@dpsa.com.au.

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