The State of California is making significant progress toward its goals of reducing the amount of energy used by computing resources across the executive branch. By implementing energy efficient technologies and energy efficiency best practices, the state has reduced energy consumption and operating costs by enough to power more than 2,000 homes annually.

“As we celebrate Earth Day, it is appropriate to acknowledge the hard work of state employees who are helping to reduce government’s carbon footprint and achieve our energy conservation and efficiency goals,” said Adrian Farley, California’s chief technology officer. “Through PC power management and data center consolidation the state has significantly reduced the energy consumption of IT and telecommunications equipment.”

Consistent with AB 2408, state agencies are leveraging cost-effective strategies to reduce the total amount of energy utilized by information technology and telecommunications equipment by 20 percent by July 1, 2011, and by 30 percent by July 1, 2012. Further, the California Technology Agency established policies in 2010 designed reduce power consumption by state agencies through the use of energy efficient computers and office equipment. Generally, computers and electronics use 9.5 percent of the total office power consumption.

Based on reports filed with the Technology Agency, state agencies have realized more than 10 million kWh of energy savings annually through the implementation of power management software and techniques. Based on federal Department of Energy data, the energy savings achieved could power approximately 1,000 homes for a year and represents a reduction of 6,910 metric tons of CO2 from our environment. A statewide scorecard on the detailed progress of all executive branch agencies will be posted on the Technology Agency website in May 2011.

This year, the Office of Technology Services closed the Cannery data center, eliminating 75,000 square feet of raised floor space to achieving 12.5 million kWh of energy savings annually – equivalent to more than 1,000 homes.

The state’s green IT efforts are being led by Green IT Workgroup executive sponsors Andrea Rohmann, the chief information officer of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Chris Cruz, the chief information officer of the Department of Health Care Services, and Joe Panora, agency chief information officer of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The Green IT Workgroup is beginning its Phase II efforts, which will address data collection and power management implementation for multi-function devices, printers, copiers, scanners, and fax machines.