Case Study: VIRTUS Data Centres

Case Study: VIRTUS Data Centres

In July 2014 the Climate Change Agreement was extended to the Data Centre industry, providing data centres with the ability to make huge cost savings. Find out how we’re helping VIRTUS take advantage of the CCA extension.

The Brief

VIRTUS Data Centres owns, designs, builds and operates a new generation of agile, connected, efficient data centres around the heart of London’s cloud and digital content economy.

In July 2014 the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) was extended to the Data Centre industry, providing data centre providers with the ability to make huge cost savings, by aligning the amount of carbon tax that operators have to pay with the energy efficiencies the company puts in place.

VIRTUS prides itself on providing customers with flexible cost effective services and were keen to obtain a CCA for their LONDON1 data centre as soon as possible, to bolster their already excellent environmental credentials. This would not only help minimise the impact of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) on their clients, creating a more efficient operation, but also allow them to pass these additional cost savings onto customers. Utilitywise Corporate Division was already working with VIRTUS on other compliance schemes when the Climate Change Agreement came into practice and was requested to assist in VIRTUS’ CCA application.

Committed to Efficiency

VIRTUS is committed to the continual improvement of its environmental and operating efficiency and so was already on an existing Green energy contract; using an environmental management system, based on BS EN ISO 14001:2004 and an energy management system based on BS EN ISO 50001:2011.

VIRTUS was exempt for the first phase of the CRC which finished in March 2014, however due to their continued growth it was required to comply in Phase-II. This would have increased its fuel costs by an additional 7%, the cost of which would have been passed through to clients or absorbed internally. However, by signing up to the CCA, VIRTUS would be relieved of these carbon costs from the date of CCA activation, minimising the impacts on its customers.

As a result, VIRTUS is required to make efficiency improvements towards the sectors overall efficiency target (based on PUE) of 15% by 2020. For VIRTUS this target fits well into its own energy policy which states their commitment to continual improvement.

Our Approach

A successful collaboration

The CCA application process at the LONDON1 site was completed in an especially short timeframe and this was largely achieved through the close working relationship fostered between Utilitywise and VIRTUS.

VIRTUS had already installed complete sub-metering across its LONDON1 site, and coupled with the expertise at Utilitywise, this meant that the process from site visit to CCA activation was completed in just four weeks. Furthermore, the Underlying Agreement approval was given just five working days after the application had originally been made.

VIRTUS supplied the IT data load, whilst Utilitywise sourced the invoice data, completed the application pack and associated documentation. This included an annotated site plan, exemption calculations, process flowchart and process description, all of which lead to high praise from the scheme administrators relating to the high quality of the application.

As an ongoing service, Utilitywise will manage the agreement on behalf of VIRTUS checking eligibility, as well as reporting on performance and managing their evidence pack.

Our Solution

Lasting Partnership

VIRTUS has now completed its flagship data center, LONDON2, which has been designed from the outset as a model of efficiency aimed to meet the growing demand for scalable, reliable, on-demand colocation services. It is the first data centre in London to deploy a new ground breaking fresh-air, evaporative cooling technology, which dramatically decreases energy consumption. Following the successful application of VIRTUS’ LONDON1 data centre, Utilitywise will again be assisting VIRTUS in applying for and managing their CCA requirements for the new site.

Utilitywise Corporate Division is part of Utilitywise plc, an AIM listed energy and water consultancy. If you would like any further information on our services please call 01527 511 757 or email info@utilitywise.co.uk.

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