Greater Manchester’s award-winning IT conservationist ACR IT Solutions is lobbying North West members of the European Parliament because, says managing director Steve Freeman, “this country is on its knees when it comes to power and some form of legislation or financial incentive is probably the only way forward.”
Nearly five million small-to-medium businesses – which account for over 99% of the UK total – are estimated to spend £7.2 billion on energy, this year, to run their computers, servers and data storage facilities and data centres.
But that could be shaved to a more realistic £1.3 billion … saving a massive £5.9 billion.
‘Virtualisation’ – a software technology that is rapidly transforming the IT industry and the way it works – is established in the server, network and storage market. Now it is even reaching desktop users because of the dramatic reduction in power consumption.
For businesses it not only cuts computer-related energy expenses but also carbon emissions, floor space, heating, lighting, air conditioning and maintenance costs while delivering other IT benefits such as more efficient storage, disaster recovery, business continuity, reduced hardware refresh costs and operational expenditure. And the saving normally covers the service cost within 18 months.
“Energy conservation on this massive business scale should be encouraged by either government incentives or the consideration of heavy fines for businesses that ignore their responsibilities,” says Steve, whose business is a premier UK provider of virtualisation.
“If people can be fined for dropping a cigarette packet in the street how much should they have to pay for needlessly wasting a massive £6 billion worth of energy when it’s so simple to reduce that to a more reasonable amount?
“Even outside the moral issue of energy conservation, virtualisation technology offers businesses a way of cutting costs while improving operational efficiency and keeping competitive during the economic uncertainties of this recession.
“But refusing to save that amount of power condemns the environment, instead, to pick up the tab.”
Energy usage by the UK’s 4,853,640 small/medium businesses was calculated at a modest three 2cpu servers per business with each one using 550 watts at £0.01 per kilowatt. Total annual energy cost – £7,385,444,233 compared with £1,327,926,782 when virtualised – saving £5,940,466,584.