How Microsoft Wasted Energy At A Data Center To Avoid A Fine

Posted Sep 24, 2012

Microsoft Corporation has avoided paying a fine by wasting millions of watts of power according to The New York Times.  At a data center in Quincy, Washington known for hosting Bing, Hotmail, and cloud-based servers, Microsoft has an agreement with a Washington-based utility.  The utility supposedly  has clauses that impose penalties for the under-consumption of electricity.  Last year the data center was hit with a $210,000 fine because they were below their power-use target.  Allegedly this caused Microsoft to burn $70,000 worth of electricity in 3 days “in a commercially unproductive manner” in order to avoid the fine.  It is important for companies to consider their carbon footprint, but utility organizations should not penalize companies for the under-consumption of energy.