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In this paper, we explore academic data center utilization rates from an energy management perspective with the broader goal of providing decision support for green computing. The utilization rate is defined as the overall extent to which data center servers are being used and is usually recorded as a percentage. Recent literature states that utilization rates at many data centers are quite low resulting in poor usage of resources such as energy and labor. Based on our study we attribute these lower utilization rates to not fully taking advantage of virtualization and cloud technology. This paper describes our research including energy data analysis with our proposed equations for performance measurement and forecasting, corroborated by evaluation with real data in a university setting. We suggest that future data centers will need to increase their utilization rates and thus shift more towards the cloud in order to lower costs and increase services despite current concerns for security of cloud technology.