Green Hosting

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Green hosting companies are multiplying at a prodigious rate. Part of the growth is because of growing public awareness of the use of electricity and the perceived impact on the environment, part is due to government mandates requiring compliance by adopting green technologies.

Depending on the source of figures - most are not cited or credited - hosting companies spent three billion dollars on electricity. The average cost per kilowatt hour nationwide is 9.8 cents per kWH from the latest Department of Energy report. This calculates as a total power consumption of three hundred million kWH. The US generated 1.5 trillion kWH of electricity in 2009, year to date total. One - also uncited - source indicated hosting companies accounted for 4% of electrical power consumption. The DoE numbers indicate the amount is actually two-tenths of one percent. The reality is that every ISP and hosting company in the US could be powered by one-third of the annual production of the ancient Seabrook nuclear reactor.

This is not intended to be critical of the efforts of green hosting companies, however, it is important to know that there are some radically differing statistics on some ecology-conscious websites that don't seem to have any basis in actual usage or consumption. It is a disservice to the environmentally-responsible community and the consumer, especially since the data is readily available.

Nevertheless, green hosting is a great idea. Not only with the goal as a carbon-neutral business by the fairly passive act of buying carbon credits, but moving from a simply green-compliant industry to an eco-friendly net energy producer.

By the nature of the hosting business, the company must be in continuous 24/7/365 operation. There is no way this can be guaranteed by a pure-green solution. The company must be connected to the main power grid to cover periods of insufficient totally green power generation. There are hosting companies which have taken this into account and taken responsible actions to generate more electricity than they consume, selling their excess back to the power company during intervals of peak generation - which often occurs at periods of peak demand.

Green hosting should be more than a marketing tool. It should be an example to other businesses which are heavy-demand consumers of electricity. To this end, it is essential to responsibly report accurate and verifiable statistics.

When it is time to upgrade current web hosing services, take the time to exercise due diligence in selecting a truly environmentally-aware and ecology-friendly provider.

About the author

Neal is an internet marketing associate involved with the Dot Eco initiative to establish the .eco top level domain. This new initiative will donate over 50% of domain registration proceeds back to fund scientific initiatives and research in climate change, ocean analysis, economic policy, and other environmentally-related areas. Follow Dot Eco or become a Fan on Facebook.

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