Methods and apparatus are provided for choosing an energy-efficient coolant temperature for electronics by considering the temperature dependence of the electronics' power dissipation. This dependence is explicitly considered in selecting the coolant temperature T.sub.0 that is sent to the equipment. To minimize power consumption P.sub.Total for the entire system, where P.sub.Total=P.sub.0+P.sub.Cool is the sum of the electronic equipment's power consumption P.sub.0 plus the cooling equipment's power consumption P.sub.Cool, P.sub.Total is obtained experimentally, by measuring P.sub.0 and P.sub.Cool, as a function of three parameters: coolant temperature T.sub.0; weather-related temperature T.sub.3 that affects the performance of free-cooling equipment; and computational state C of the electronic equipment, which affects the temperature dependence of its power consumption. This experiment provides, for each possible combination of T.sub.3 and C, the value T.sub.0* of T.sub.0 that minimizes P.sub.Total. During operation, for any combination of T.sub.3 and C that occurs, the corresponding optimal coolant temperature T.sub.0* is selected, and the cooling equipment is commanded to produce it.