PUE: Increased Efficiency Through Increased Consumption?

There have been growing concerns about the misuse of PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) in PR. Uptime Institute Director Kenneth Brill weighed in with widely noted critiques a year ago. Last week, Loose Bolts blogger Michael Manos raised the specter of PUE PR becoming embedded in RFPs. But what I liked best about Manos' post was his attention to an unintended consequence of the quest for efficiency.

"Our brand new facility['s] . . . PUE will be a function of how quickly we consume the capacity . . . Its math marketing people don’t like.  It screws with the message.   Small revelation here – Data Centers become more “efficient” the more energy they consume!"

Perverse incentive from efficiency goals is not limited to ICT. Institutions with older buildings can reach their 'reduce average energy per square foot' goals with massive new construction.

Increased efficiency through increased consumption is unlikely to yield a sustainable enterprise in any sector.