Whats “New” in the EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres (Energy Efficiency) 2021 (12th Edition)?

The most important change in 2021 is the revision of the introductory guide (v3.3.0) for all applicants, existing endorsers as well as participants are well advised to review and refresh themselves as to the requirements of being a participant in the EUCOC.

Since the first edition there have been some significant changes, and it is now apparent that some of the early adopters have escaped providing information on their adoption of the newer best practices, thus, if your organisation became a member in the early years, even fairly recently, it would be appreciated if you could download the latest reporting form and provide information for the best practices that you may not be aware of. TIA!

There have been quite a few amendments to the wording of various best practices as follows:

In Section 3,

3.1.1 Group Involvement, 3.2.2 Mechanical and electrical equipment environmental operating ranges, 3.2.4 Life Cycle Assessment

3.2.14 Site Documentation is now a MANDATORY practice

3.2.15 Training and Development is now a MANDATORY practice and  a minor wording change.

In Section 4, there are several wording changes in the best practices as follows:

4.11, IT Hardware power, 4.1.6 IT Equipment power usage against inlet temperature, 4.1.10, EU ECO Design/Energy Star compliant hardware, 4.3.5., Decommission low value business services, 4.4.1 Data management policy, and 4.4.4 Select lower power storage devices.

There is also a new optional best practice 4.2.8 = IT equipment utilisation, Set minimum or average targets for the utilisation of IT equipment (servers, networking, storage).

In Section 5, there have been zero changes in sections 5.1 to 5.6, however 5.7 Reuse of Data Centre Waste Heat has had its overview wording changed, 5.7.2 Heat pump assisted waste heat use has had a wording change and we have a new best practice 5.7.5 Capture ready infrastructure, this best practice was in Section 10 in the 11th Edition and has now been moved over to Section 5 proper. The EC have been focused for some time on data centre waste heat, and it may have an even greater focus in the impending EU Green Deal, well worth looking at this for new data centre builds or even “edge” sites, there are plenty of options available.

There are no changes in Section’s 6, 7, 8 and 9.

In Section 10, Practices to become minimum expected, there are some significant changes, you may recall that these are best practices that are expected to become the minimum expected for the next edition and are placed here to provide ample warning of their introduction and to allow data centres to prepare for them in their next reporting period.

There will be a significant revision of reporting requirements and the addition of some of the metrics as defined in the ISO 30134 and EN 50600 4-X series.

All in Section 9, Partial PUE Reporting, CER Reporting, ERF Reporting, ITEEsv Reporting, ITEUsv Reporting and Written Reporting, these will, for the time being remain optional.

EU Eco Design Directive/Lot 9 Updates in 4.1.10, 4.1.6, 4.4.4 and 6.1.4

3.2.4 Life Cycle Assessment, expected for the Entire Data Centre in 2022

4.3.4 Consolidation of existing services, expected for the Entire Data Centre in 2022

4.3.5 Decommission low value business services, expected for the Entire Data Centre in 2022

4.3.6 Shut down and consider removal of idle equipment, expected for the Entire Data Centre in 2022

In Section 11, Items under consideration, there are 3 new best practices, these are PUE and CER targets and a target for EU Eco Directive idle state power and will all be optional.

In essence, although the EUCOC is now in its 12th Edition and that many commercial (colocation) operators have already adopted many of the best practices, it is clear that some of them use it as a mere tick box exercise and some enterprises have never even heard of it, this will have to change, so we are preparing the EUCOC to be used as an even more effective tool to improve data centre energy efficiency, as it may become a mandatory requirement for external financing and for legislative purposes, either at EU level via a directive or at national, regional or even local levels as a requirement of planning permission.

We understand that the Climate Neutral Data Centre Pact intends to use the EUCOC as the mechanism for signatories to reach their commited goals, once these have been agreed with the EU Commission. We look forward to working with the pact on this inititative.

Even though the UK has left the EU there has been no change to the use of the EUCOC for the time being, it is entirely optional. However, be advised that it is required, although not policed, in the G-Cloud requirements and that many procurement activities for colocation and cloud services require mandatory EUCOC participation.

Our advice is that all data centre owners and operators review and implement the EUCOC as soon as possible and consider becoming formal participants, it is highly likely that you will be required to do so as a condition of financing or as part of planning permissions in the future.

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