A new study by Opower found that the average Yahoo Mail household uses 11% more electricity per year than a Gmail household. The study looked at the correlation between email address and electricity usage across 2.8 million American households, focusing primarily on Yahoo Mail and Gmail because they are the most popular email providers.
The average Yahoo Mail household spends $110 more per year on electricity than a Gmail household. Not only is that a pretty significant number, it adds up to almost a whole extra month of electricity compared to Gmail households. According to Opower, it’s as if, relative to the average Yahoo household, the average Gmailer is strictly hang-drying their laundry, forgoing high-definition TV, and hand-washing their dishes with cold water for a year.
So why is it then that Gmail users tend to be more energy efficient? For one, lifestyle plays a crucial role.
Hunch.com and Experian have found that Gmailers are more likely to be younger, single people. Credit Karma found the average Gmailer’s age to be 34, while the average Yahoo user is 38. Being young and single means going out more; less time at home – and fewer occupants – means less electricity usage.
By contrast, Yahoo users are more likely to be in relationships and have children. Additionally, Hunch found that Gmail users are more likely to be active travelers (having journeyed to 5 or more countries), and so might be away from home more often.
Opower also found that Yahoo users tend to live in larger residences, which increases their total energy needs. But they also consume more electricity per square foot than Gmail users – the typical Yahoo Mail household uses 12% more electricity per square foot of living space (6.84 kWh/sqft) than the typical Gmail household (6.09 kWh/sqft).
Experian and Hunch.com have found that Yahoo users tend to live in suburbs and rural areas, while Gmailers live in cities.
In conclusion, if you want to save energy, simply switching from Yahoo to Gmail isn’t the solution. You have to put in the effort. Or be a young, single, urban dweller.
Click here to read more about Opower’s study.
Infographic source: Opower