In addition to utility companies, organizations such as the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Wisconsin Focus on Energy will dole out money to organizations for rolling out PPM technology.
These incentive programs do have requirements. Your organization typically will need to deploy a commercial software solution capable of centrally managing the power settings of networked computers and producing aggregate savings reports. Your utility may require access to your site for spot-checks to ensure you've implemented the technology. Additionally, some utilities require a minimum average savings. For example, Avista, based in Spokane, Wash., requires annual savings of at least 120 kWh per machine.
Secure server savings
Server virtualization has proven itself a power-saving technology, effectively equipping IT shops to substantially reduce their server count. Recognizing the technology's ability to ease the strain on the electrical grid, utilities are handing over cash to companies that virtualize. Among them is Energy Trust of Oregon, which offers $350 per consolidated server (with a minimum of 10). Austin Energy will provide a rebate of up to $200,000 [PDF] for a virtualization project.
As with the PPM projects, there are caveats to the server virtualization incentive programs. Typically, you'll need to provide pre- and post-project energy consumption and grant an on-site inspection. You may also need to submit your rebate application before you implement your virtualization project. Your project might not be eligible if it's part of a new datacenter construction project. Additionally, a utility might restrict you from reusing removed equipment down the road, requiring you to detail the disposal method of your removed machines. In other words, no temporarily unplugging machines, only to plug them back in later when your computing demands increase.