In the higher-education arena, 33 percent of data center purchases in the last three months have been “green.” And while 49 percent of 2010 survey respondents agreed that cloud computing is an energy-efficient approach, that figure jumped to 62 percent in 2011.

Among higher education, the top three green technologies implemented were virtualized servers/storage, consolidated servers, and hardware that employs newer, low-power/low-wattage processors.

The easiest energy-efficient solutions to implement, from a technical and managerial standpoint, are hardware that employs newer, low-power/low-wattage processors, ENERGY STAR qualified devices, and virtualized servers/storage.

Solutions most likely to offer higher education savings are energy-efficient UPS, consolidated servers, and virtualized servers/storage.

Thirty percent of K-12 data center purchases in the past three months have been “green.” Forty-seven percent of 2010 survey respondents said they think cloud computing is an energy-efficient approach, while 64 percent of 2011 survey participants agreed.

Top technologies implemented in K-12 are consolidated servers, virtualized servers/storage, and hardware that employs newer, low-power/low-wattage processors.

When it comes to technical and management considerations, the easiest technologies to implement are ENERGY STAR qualified devices, hardware that employs newer, low-power/low-wattage processors, and consolidated servers.

K-12 survey respondents said that new cooling approaches, virtualized servers/storage, and ENERGY STAR qualified devices are the most likely to offer savings.

The report offers a number of recommendations to help industries, including education, evaluate their energy use and options: