Determining which web hosting service to host your site on can be a daunting task, let alone finding one that is environmentally friendly and a great value. There are many web hosting companies marketing how they are the most “greenest” web hosting service on the market. It can often be difficult to find out how exactly they are providing a green web hosting service whether it be through carbon neutral servers or environmentally friendly business practices. To make this process easier, I compiled a list of all the major green web hosting companies and what they have done to make the claim that they are in fact “green”. Also provided are other factors including price that can be used to determine which web hosting service meets your needs.
Direct Renewable Energy Hosting Companies
Carbon Reducing Hosting Companies
Carbon Neutral Hosting Companies
International Hosting Companies
After compiling much of the information about all of the web hosting companies, I was able to break the companies into two distinct categories based off of how they are :
- Direct Renewable Energy Powered: I consider these web hosting companies to be the real deal. They have renewable energy on site and are sure that their data servers are not causing an impact on the environment.
- Carbon-Neutral: These companies still want to lower their impact on the environment by either purchasing RECs or Renewable Energy Credits or planting trees. RECs do provide an easy way to show that you purhcased renewable energy, but buying their purchase does not always guarantee that the true amount of renewable energy was generated.
- Grid Contributors: Think of these companies as similar to the carbon-neutral companies, but take it one step further. They purchase RECs or plant trees in excess of their current energy use to contribute renewable energy into the power grid.
In no way does making this separation discount the efforts the businesses in the later groups are taking to lower their impact on the environment. Companies in all categories go beyond just making their servers more environmentally friendly by conserving energy use throughout their entire business, using recycled products as well as becoming involved in the local community.
I am also including other fields that can help you decide which web hosting service will best suit your website:
- Price: This is the lowest price available by the particular hosting company. Most companies have a wide array of other pricing options depending on the size of a website.
- Free Domains: It’s often desirable to have a free domain name provided when purchasing a hosting plan, whether it be just for a year or for the life of the account.
- Bandwidth: The amount of data transferred to or from a website or server within a prescribed period of time. This could be an important number depending on the amount of trafifc a site receives.
- Disk Space: The total amount of physical disc space you can use on their servers.
- Databases: How many databases instances you are allowed to operate. This can be dependent on how many websites are run and how many databases a particular website may be using.
- Power Source: A major factor in determining how “green” the web hosting company is.
- Uptime: The reliability and stability of the web servers. This can be a huge determining factor in choosing a hosting company so that you website is available at most times.
( Updated 1/20/09 ) After making the various calculations for the Shower Saving Tips article, I realized that it would be helpful to have a water calculator that would not only calculate the amount of water used, but also energy. This calculator takes in various sets of inputs including:
- Average Shower Time: Enter the amount of time you normally shower.
- Shower Head Water Usage: The number of gallons per minute your shower head uses. If you cannot find this value, many shower heads made today use 2.5 gallons per minute.
- Cost: The cost of water per 1000 gallons used. The national average is $2 per 1000 gallons.
Water Heater Parameters
- Energy Type: The type of energy you water heater uses. The typical water heater uses either gas or electric.
- Cost: The cost of one unit of the particular energy type your water heater uses. You can select the state you live in to get the average energy cost for the particular energy type your water heater uses.
- Efficiency: Is measured as an Energy Factor (EF), which is usually listed beside the EnergyGuide label. The higher the number, the more energy efficient the water heater. On average, an electric heater has an efficiency rating of .92 while a natural gas heater has a rating of .59.
- Water Temperature: The temperature of the ground water before being heated.
- Shower Temperature: The temperature at which the shower water is raised to. A temperature about 125 – 130 °F can be dangerous for use.
Hopefully this calculator helps you determine how much a shower really costs you and the amount you can save by reducing your shower time. Please share your findings with this calculator.