PG&E joins the Green Grid

LOS ANGELES, Aug 7 (Reuters) - Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is the first utility to join The Green Grid, a nonprofit consortium that seeks more energy efficiency in data centers and business computing systems, PG&E announced on Tuesday.

Don Tilton, a director of the Green Grid, said that “as more utilities join, we expect to collaborate on standardizing demand response and energy-efficiency incentive and rebate programs across the industry to accelerate the adoption of technologies that support this goal.”

The Green Grid consortium has about 40 high-tech equipment companies including Hewlett-Packard HPQ.N, IBM IBM.N, Sun Microsystems SUNW.O, Microsoft MSFT.O, and Intel INTC.O.

PG&E already offers an array of incentives to its customers who take steps to stem energy use of high-tech equipment, the company said. Joining The Green Grid will allow PG&E to expand incentives to include purchase of new efficiency servers and other computing equipment.

Data centers can use 100 times the energy per square foot of some office space.

PG&E is a subsidiary of PG&E Corp. PCG.N and is based in San Francisco.

PG&E says it will spend almost $1 billion in energy-efficiency programs that will keep demand down enough to save the company from having to build or buy power from a 600-megawatt power plant.