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Sustainable Technology Projects

Green_250Verdiem Power Management

California’s peak daily power usage typically ranges between 35,000 and 40,000 megawatts of electricity a day, but on extremely hot days when air-conditioning use is high, utilities must generate up to 50 percent more electricity. When the demand peaks, utilities are forced to use older, higher carbon emitting backup plants, known as ‘peaker plants’ that rely on fossil-fuels.  According to Flex Your Power, the cost of reserving peaker plants for only a few hundred hours of service a summer can exceed one billion dollars annually.

As part of our sustainability efforts, Information Systems partnered with Southern California Edison to implement an energy reduction technology on City equipment.  The software, called Verdiem, places computer systems in standby mode after 2 hours of inactivity during business hours (7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), after 1 hour of inactivity during evening hours and after 30 minutes of inactivity after 9:00pm. 

The Verdiem project results in the following estimated annual energy savings:

  • Energy Consumption Reduction of 189,771 kWh
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction of 137,394 lbs
  • Annual energy cost savings of $28,466

The Verdiem project also resulted in a rebate of $24,192.54 provided by Edison to recover a substantial portion of the technology costs. 

Server Virtualization

In addition, Information Systems partnered with Edison to reduce energy consumption associated with physical servers by moving the servers into a virtual environment.  Phase I was completed and resulted in 31 physical servers virtualized.

 Servers 2  


Traditional server rooms require a primary power source,
backup power, physical space, and controlled HVAC environments.
 Server Virtualization model depicts relationships in a virtual environment.

Including the additional energy requirements for our new technology, Phase I results in a net reduction of server energy consumption by 6,000 W, a reduction in the cooling load, backup power, and cost of physical space required for physical servers.  As additional servers move to a virtual environment, the City will achieve even greater energy savings due to economies of scale.  The City received an Edison rebate of $5,230.56 to offset a portion of the technology costs for Phase I of this project. 

ISD’s Verdiem and Server Virtualization projects help reduce the heavy demand on our electrical grid during the “peak demand” hours of 2p-7p and contribute to California’s goal of reducing peak demand by 5%.  While leading by example in our City’s own energy usage practices, ISD is also using these successful projects to promote sustainable technology programs to the local business community.  By sharing data regarding financial and social benefits, and eliminating the perception of technological hurdles, ISD seeks to increase adoption and awareness of these programs and in the long-term help reduce California’s energy consumption.

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