[rescue] SET at home servers

Laurence Brevard brevard at 1or0.com
Fri Dec 19 09:06:55 CST 2014

At 05:45 PM 12/18/2014, Mark Linimon wrote:

  On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 03:04:04PM -0600, Lionel Peterson wrote:
  > I was reciting numbers I knew from a recent research effort of mine
  when I was
  > considering colocating a Dell PE1950 or PE2950 (a 2U server) for
  > use.

  In Texas I figured out I am running about $20 for the 2850 that stays


I just moved back to Texas after 13 years on the west coast - the last 11
in San Jose, CA.

In San Jose, with 3300 sf heated and cooled, 2/3 of my PG&E electric bill
was in the highest tier - around $0.40 /KWh as of last summer.

By moving several 24x7 servers to a collocation (paid for by $work) and
turning off other things, I dropped my home electric bill by ~$300/month.

It was still over $900/month last summer. My lovely view of the entire
Silicon Valley from the east foothills meant I was blasted by the sun all
afternoon - requiring quite a bit of air conditioning in the summer.

*And, yes, I ran the numbers on solar, several times, but break even was
always over 20 years. And a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) that would
have let me install service at close to $0 up-front had over $50K as a
buy-out if I sold the house any time soon. Maybe the new owners will do
it finally.

Each 100 Watt thing that I could stop running 24x7 saved me around $30 a
month and I turned off ~8 things some more than 100 Watts. This included
multiple computers but also an old refrigerator and about 2/3 of my
on-all-night outside lighting.

The punitive tiered electric rates really do encourage shaving off watts
from the top. It also meant there was no way I would want a plug-in
electric vehicle!

In Texas, outside of Austin in the Pedernales Electric Coop, I'm now
paying about 1/4 the rates in California. In practice, this means I can
have >5000 sf of space heated and cooled, full of computers, for less
than half what it cost me in San Jose.

For this and many other reasons I am really glad to be back in Texas.


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