UII UPDATE 259 | JUNE 2024

Intelligence Update

EED reporting deadlines are clarified

The responsibility for the implementation of the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the delegated regulation is shared between the European member states and the European Commission.

Member states must pass legislation or regulation to implement requirements in the EED, including Article 11 (Energy management systems and audits) and Article 12 (Data centers), which mandates public reporting of 14 information and key performance indicator (KPI) values.

The Commission is responsible for the delegated regulation requirements:

  • Creating a European Database on Data Centres.
  • Collecting the required information and KPIs (delegated regulation, Annex I and II).
  • Publicly reporting the KPIs (delegated regulation, Annex IV).

The EED was published on September 13, 2023, and the delegated regulation was published on May 17, 2024. This delayed the transposition of the EED into member state law and regulations beyond May 15, 2024, which was the initial reporting date for information and KPIs mandated by Article 12 of the EED.

This delay created much confusion among the data center industry regarding reporting deadlines and reported data. Both the Commission and member states are now moving to clarify the requirements.

The delegated regulation mandates that facility-level information and KPIs be reported to the European Database on Data Centres by September 15, 2024, but gives member states the option to collect and report data for data centers under their jurisdiction or pass the reporting responsibility to the facility owners. The Netherlands and Germany have declared that they will require reporting to a country-level database by July 15, 2024, and August 15, 2024, respectively. There are indications that Ireland may also require reporting to a country-level database, but a final declaration has yet to be made. The other 24 member states are expected to allow or require reporting to the European database by the September 15, 2024 deadline as mandated by the delegated regulation.

Netherlands

The Netherlands has passed a regulation (Obligation to report energy efficiency of data centers) to implement the EED mandates. The required data matches the delegated regulation Annexes I to III mandates. The reporting deadline for the Netherlands is July 15, 2024. The Dutch government will report the Netherlands facility-level data to the European Database on Data Centres.

The Netherlands has set the data center reporting threshold at 500 kilowatts (kW) of installed IT capability. This value is the installed power capacity to support the total data center operation, including IT, cooling and power distribution equipment, and is the same threshold definition set in the German “Guide to the data points in the data centre register” (see below). The EED delegated regulation reporting threshold is also set at 500 kW, but is defined as the “installed information technology power demand” or the "rated information technology load" (Article 2(14), (15)), which constitutes the nameplate power demand of the IT equipment or the installed, non-redundant uninterruptable power supply (UPS) capacity. The Netherlands (and Germany) reporting threshold will therefore likely capture more data center operations than the EED reporting threshold.

The Netherlands’ Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy has created a reporting form that must be submitted as a digital report through the “My RVO” webpage (on the Netherlands Enterprise Agency website). The data submitted through the form matches the necessary data under EED Annex VII and the delegated regulation. The government did not add any specific data reporting mandates for the Netherlands.

The data reporting portal will open on June 17, 2024. The government will make the facility-level reporting forms publicly available on July 22, 2024 on an RVO webpage unless the operator claims, under the Trade Secrets Protection Act, that the data is confidential.

Germany

Germany published the “Guide to the data points in the data centre register" on April 10, 2024. The guide details the complete set of information and KPIs that must be reported to the German Energy Efficiency Register for Data Centers (RZReg). The reported data combines the data required by the German Energy Efficiency Act (see Regelungstext final ESA amendments attached, Sections 2 and 3) and the delegated regulation (some Sections 2 and 3 and all Section 4 data points) as reported by Uptime Institute (Germany’s EEA: will inefficient data centers become obsolete? and EED delegated regulation is finally final).

Data centers with 500 kW or more of non-redundant electrical connection power must report the data specified in Sections 2 to 4 of the regulation to the German Energy Efficiency Register for Data Centers by August 15, 2024, and then on or before March 15 from 2025 onward. Data centers with 300 kW to 499 kW of non-redundant electrical connection power must report data specified in Sections 2 and 3 of the regulation by July 1, 2025 and then on or before March 15 from 2026 onward.

There are some additional data reporting requirements and definitional modifications specific to German data center operators in the guide (three voluntary and two mandatory data fields were added).

Voluntary

  • Type of data center operator: federal administration, state administration, municipal administration, educational institution, research institution, private sector and other.
  • Ecologically relevant certification: Blue Angel, EMAS, ISO 50001 and/or EN 50600.
  • Amount of non-industrial reused water.

Mandatory

  • Electricity consumption for systems to concentrate waste heat for reuse.
  • Electrical energy used for the cooling system (required to calculate the cooling efficiency ratio, CER).

The German regulation appears to have modified three EED definitions:

  • The regulation sets the reporting threshold based on the non-redundant electrical connection power of the data center, which is the same as the reporting threshold for the Netherlands (i.e., 500 kW of installed IT capability).
  • Nominal connected load of IT (PDIT). The guide limits this value to the maximum capacity of the non-redundant UPS system. The EED delegated regulation also allows reporting of the nominal nameplate kilowatt of the installed IT equipment.
  • Total energy consumption (EDC). Both regulations require separate output metering from the backup generators for the reporting year. The German regulation states that the measured backup generator megawatt-hours will not be reported as part of the total energy consumption. The definition in the EED includes these megawatt-hours in EDC.

The German Energy Efficiency Act sets administrative fines of up to 100,000 euros ($107,000) for failing to provide a complete, timely report. Uptime advises operators to study and assess the reporting requirements thoroughly.

Ireland

Due to the large concentration of data center operations in the country, Ireland is considering whether it should establish additional data reporting requirements in its EED transposition to inform the development of a national data center strategy. With little time ahead of the first deadline, Irish data centers will likely need to report directly to the European Database on Data Centres for the September 15, 2024 report.

European Database on Data Centres

The remaining European member states are expected to require their data centers to report directly to the European Database on Data Centres. The Commission published the final delegated regulation on May 17, 2024. It matches the March 14, 2024 delegated regulation evaluated in EED delegated regulation is finally final.

Preliminary information from the Commission indicates that the European Database on Data Centres is a work in progress. The Commission plans to have an alpha version of the database ready for testing in June (2024). They noted that they have a clear plan and timeline to prepare the database for data center operators to load their data by the deadline of September 15, 2024.

Plans are to control access to the European database through member state coordinators, with data loading / transmittal performed either by the member state (if a member state database has been established) or by individual operators. Germany and the Netherlands are requiring operators to apply for a reference ID, but it is unclear if other member states will issue reference IDs or apply the data center name and location fields instead.

Data confidentiality

Some operators are concerned that much of the reported data, particularly the ICT indicators, is confidential business information. The delegated regulation Article 5 states, “The Commission and the Member States concerned shall keep confidential all information and key performance indicators for individual data centers that are communicated to the database pursuant to Article 3.” Conversely, the Netherlands plans to post the facility-level reporting forms to a public website on July 22, 2024. The reported information and KPIs are unlikely to meet the referenced Netherland’s criteria for declaring information business confidential. Operators are unlikely to be able to protect their reported data when member states choose to disclose the data publicly.

Actions for operators

The process for reporting the delegated regulation information and KPIs is still in development. The Commission has indicated it is working with member states to coordinate database access for individual operators. There appears to be schedule risk in ensuring the database and reporting process are stabilized and validated so data center operators can meet the reporting deadline.

Data center operators are advised to take the following actions:

  • Ensure a process is in place to collect and report the information and KPIs designated in the delegated regulation. Ideally, this data should be ready to report by August 15, 2024 (and earlier if a data center is in the Netherlands or Germany).
  • Identify the responsible member state governmental agency / department and the individual and manager responsible for implementing the delegated regulation for each of your facilities as soon as possible.
  • Request that the manager responsible explains the agency’s / department’s plan to manage access to the European Database on Data Centres to enable a facility to meet the September 15, 2024 reporting deadline. If they cannot explain their plan, escalate up the agency / department management chain to receive a definitive answer on what needs to be done and how the member state agency will facilitate information and KPI reporting to meet the September 15, 2025 deadline.
  • Where confidentiality is a concern, consult with company legal teams to determine what options offer the operator a means to retain data confidentiality.
  • Network with peers and country data center associations to gather information on the process for reporting information and KPIs to the European Database on Data Centres.

The fact that the Commission is releasing its alpha version of the European Database on Data Centres in June with reporting due in September, is a cause for concern. Software projects can be challenging. Furthermore, the member states need to be implementing their processes to “enrol” data center operators. Operators need to stay in close communication with their member state representatives and combine efforts through country-level data center associations to understand the steps needed to achieve compliance.

The Uptime Intelligence View

Germany and the Netherlands have published regulations for implementing the EED mandates and set early reporting dates: August 15, 2024 and July 15, 2024 respectively. The remaining member states will likely require report directly to the European Database on Data Centres. When necessary, data center operators need to work with their member state representatives responsible for EED implementation, or the Commission, to ensure their data is reported by the September 15, 2024 deadline.

Note: The regulatory analysis provided in this report is the opinion of Uptime Institute. Data center operators should validate the interpretations with their legal staff and any relevant regulatory authorities.

About the Author

Jay Dietrich

Jay Dietrich

Jay is the Research Director of Sustainability at Uptime Institute. Dietrich looks beyond the hype to analyze the transformations required in energy and IT systems, data centers and software management systems, and intra-organizational collaboration, both within and between companies, to deliver sustainable data center operations.