High-Tech Means High-Efficiency: The Business Case for Energy Management in High-Tech Industries
In the race to apply new technologies in "high-tech" facilities such as data centers, laboratories, and cleanrooms, much emphasis has been placed on improving service, building capacity, and increasing speed. These facilities are socially and economically important, as part of the critical infrastructure for pharmaceuticals, electronics, communications, and many other sectors. With a singular focus on throughput, some important design issues can be overlooked, such as the energy efficiency of individual equipment (e.g., lasers, routers and switches) as well as the integration of high-tech equipment into the power distribution system and the building envelope. Among technology-based businesses, improving energy efficiency presents an often untapped opportunity to increase profits, enhance process control, maximize asset value, improve the workplace environment, and manage a variety of business risks. Oddly enough, the adoption of energy efficiency improvements in this sector lags behind many others. As a result, millions of dollars are left on the table with each year of operation.