Uncovering the Hidden Cost of Electricity


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A recent Info-Tech study of over 800 mid-sized IT shops found that, in 2008, three-quarters of IT departments do not have a handle on their true cost of energy usage. Only 25% of these shops have completed an IT energy measurement initiative of some kind, while another 28% are now piloting or completing such an initiative. A further one-quarter of organizations will take on measurement within 12 months. Beyond lacking the tools to identify IT's share of the business's energy consumption, many IT leaders do not receive an electricity bill of any kind. The utility bill, especially in smaller organizations, is often left in the hands of facilities or accountants to pay and file away.

Info-Tech believes organizations that do not account for energy as a distinct operational cost, in the way that staffing, maintenance, or vendor contracts are accounted for, are missing a key opportunity for savings. This missed opportunity is compounded by the fact that electricity costs are increasing, as are the environmental concerns associated with electricity generation. Read this note to understand key factors driving interest in quantifying energy use, and how measurement educates key stakeholders on true IT costs, provides motivation and justification for energy efficiency improvements, and quantifies actual cost savings.

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