IBM said it was honored by the European Commission for 27 data centers that reduce energy consumption in a cost-effective manner without lowering mission-critical capabilities.

The Armonk, N.Y.-based computer services giant said the European computer centers constitute about 70 percent of its strategic outsourcing data centers in 15 countries.

Electricity costs for technology products such as large computer installations are high and many require air conditioning even in the coldest winters. IBM set a goal to double the IT capacity of these centers without boosting power consumption within three years in 2007.

IBM shares Thursday closed at $184.66, 88 cents, in Thursday trading.

The company derives about one third of revenue from Europe, where it handles IT services for multinationals along several industry verticals.

IBM's recognition by being awarded a commendation under the EU Code of Conduct is important to us, said IBM Europe Chairman Harry van Dorenmalen.

The data centers deploy analytics developed by IBM Research to measure the effectiveness of power units. Last May, the Uptime Institute rated them 1.65 for average power usage compared with an industry average of 1.8.

Other companies maintaining large data centers for the cloud, such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Amazon and Cisco Systems, all are trying to lower power costs while increasing IT capacity and services.