The EPA’s discussions with computing-equipment makers and data center operators has shown “compelling evidence of the need for this specification. But the certification isn’t a foregone conclusion: “In the coming months, EPA will conduct an analysis to determine whether such a specification for servers is viable, given current market dynamics, the availability and performance of energy-efficient designs and the potential energy savings. Hot processors, power supplies, memory chips and other components raise utility bills, strain electricity distribution systems and overtax air-conditioning. President George W. Bush signed a bill that urges Americans to buy energy-efficient servers, and the Department of Energy has begun trying to get involved in helping companies become more energy-efficient.

The EPA’s discussions with computing-equipment makers and data center
operators has shown "compelling evidence of the need for this specification. But
the certification isn’t a foregone conclusion: "In the coming months, EPA will
conduct an analysis to determine whether such a specification for servers is
viable, given current market dynamics, the availability and performance of
energy-efficient designs and the potential energy savings. Hot processors, power
supplies, memory chips and other components raise utility bills, strain
electricity distribution systems and overtax air-conditioning. President George
W. Bush signed a bill that urges Americans to buy energy-efficient servers, and
the Department of Energy has begun trying to get involved in helping companies
become more energy-efficient.

The energy problem has triggered new avenues of research in the industry.
Advanced Micro Devices and Intel are focusing on building chips with more
processing cores rather than a higher clock frequency and correspondingly higher
power consumption. IBM’s next-generation Power6 processor has power management
abilities that let it drop down to a 100-watt level. Sun Microsystems has been
touting the energy efficiency of its UltraSparc T1 "Niagara"-based servers for
more than a year. And Dell launched an energy-efficient server line in December.