Published on June 18th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan3
Gmail Users Spend $110 Less than Yahoo Mail Users Each Year on Electricity
“Based on the company’s cutting-edge behavioral science and patent-pending data analytics, Opower found that, on average, Yahoo Mail users consume 939 kilowatt-hours (kWh) more than Gmail users, or about 11% more electricity per year – a sizeable, statistically significant difference in usage.”
Here are some more details from Opower on the data used and what the company found:
By analyzing consumer energy information derived from their work with more than 70 utility companies – including 8 of the 10 largest in the U.S. – and containing data from 40 million homes, Opower looked at the correlation between email address and electricity usage across 2.8 million American households around the country. About 1.15 million of those households are Gmail or Yahoo users, and are spread out across 23 states and several distinct climate zones.
According to Opower, the reason Gmail users consume less energy than those with Yahoo Mail has to do with the users themselves. Opower’s data indicates that Yahoo Mail households are more likely to live in larger residences and also use more electricity per square foot. In contrast, Gmail users tend to live in cities, where dwellings are often more compact and energy-efficient. In addition, Opower found that Gmail users are more likely to sign up for an in-depth analysis of their home energy usage.
Very interesting, and, I have to admit, not all that surprising. Moderating thousands upon thousands of comments, one begins to get a sense for patterns in different types of email accounts.
Of course, while some of the changes needed to bring Yahoo Mail users to the same level as Gmail users are quite large, others are very simple and do-able. Some of the suggestions Opower offers up are “turning off computers at night, getting a programmable thermostat, or upgrading a heating system.”
Of course, averages are averages — some Yahoo Mail users might have already done all of the above, might live in energy-efficient homes, and might beat the average Gmail user in this arena. Basically, everyone should consider the above suggestions and other ways to save energy in their homes and elsewhere.
All images via Opower.