Frankly discouraging news from California, and British Columbia, indicating that leading utilities are considering ending server virtualization/consolidation incentive programs.
First off, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has announced that they plan to expressly prohibit consolidation projects from their customized incentive program, likely early in 2011. (Under the program, customers apply before pursuing a project, using an energy savings calculation worksheet approved by PG&E.)
Given the efforts by investor-owned utilities in California to offer consistent efficiency programs, both Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric will likely follow PG&E's lead, and the few municiapl utilities in the state that were offering incentives are likely to drop their programs as well.
So the question is why? PG&E was the first utility in the nation to offer an incentive program for what is the leading data center IT efficiency measure, but they now seem to think that program participants will be "free riders". In essence, they think virtualization has reached sufficient market penetration that incentives are no longer justified.
That view is supported by a recent evaluation of BC Hydro's program that indicated that three quarters of program participants would have pursued their projects absent the utility incentive program.