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Saving Energy in Europe: 15 Good Practice Case Studies Broader - Benefits of Investing on Energy: British Telecom Italia, Minimising Energy Use through Innovative Design

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The EEB has compiled a great showcase of different good practice case studies that will hopefully inspire similar projects all over Europe. In order to achieve our energy saving goals and reap the benefits that they offer, we can no longer afford to see these good practice schemes as isolated cases - as the ‘select exemplary few’. These case studies should be replicated, expanded, developed and deepened so that these approaches become the norm, every day practice - not the alternative. This Good Practise Case Study demonstrates how energy saving incentives/schemes introduced at different levels (state, borough, city etc.) can result in reduced energy use.


Aims and Objectives:   British Telecom Italia wanted to create a system to cool their hardware centre which contained several hardware systems. Their aim was to introduce a system which is environmentally friendly and financially viable

Implementation Timeframe:


How it Works: 

British Telecom Italia is a company focused on providing solutions for internet based companies. It identified a location that had a naturally replenished waterbed 40 metres beneath the surface. This was essential in developing a sustainable cooling system. The system works by using four wells from which water is pumped into a reservoir under the data centre. The walls of the centre were built to conceal pipes and a heat exchanger. When the cold water is pumped up it serves cooling units on each floor of the building. Fans blow cold air through the cooling units which enter a duct leading to the rooms containing the hardware. The warm water is used in farms nearby for irrigation.


Power in the building is only needed for the pumps and for the fans. In contrast with conventional systems, this scheme has saved energy by around one megawatt. The company is also saving €800,000 per month in energy bills. This in turn helps to provide the customers with a cheaper service than other companies. CO2 emissions were reduced by 4,200 tonnes a year.

Key Benefits:

Investment for energy efficiency:  € 27,000

Savings per month in energy savings bills:  € 800,000

CO2 emissions reductions p.a :  4,2000 tonnes


For further details and elaboration on any of the issues touched upon in this case study, please contact the European Environmental Bureau, by clicking here.

Author(s) information


The European Environmental Bureau (EEB)

Lessons learnt

Innovative technological setups can be created to save energy in a particular context. For a business, introducing less conventional methods for cooling (and heating) may be harder to implement, however the reduced energy bills are evidence enough. Energy saving policy should make it mandatory that industrial installations are upgraded to best available technology above a certain defined level (Best Available Technology - BAT).

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