Green Website Hosting by Best Cheap Website Hosting!
Did you know that the average server produces the same emissions as a 15 mpg SUV?
Best Cheap Website Hosting houses our servers at a shared site in Texas. This facility hosts over 1,800,000 websites on its servers. That means a lot of servers, and a lot of carbon emissions. So together we asked ourselves, What can we do to be part of the climate change solution? We took steps to minimize our environmental impact at the office, but still we weren't satisfied. We then switched to 36% more efficient servers, but still we weren't satisfied!
All of our servers are now 130% wind powered!
That's right! 130%! We're not just neutralizing our environmental impact, we're reversing it! Our facility has purchased certified Renewable Energy Credits representing 130% of the electricity used to both power and cool every last one of our servers!
Just how big a dent in climate change does that make?
It's the equivalent of:
Investing in wind power in the USA!
- Removing 444 cars from the road for a year, or
- Powering 321 homes with clean energy for a year, or
- Saving 5,654 barrels of oil, or
- Protecting 551 acres of forest for a year
All of facilities wind credits are generated here in the United States of Americe in the state of Texas! While we can't build a wind farm in downtown Chicago, we're doing the next best thing and investing in renewable energy in the United States, right here at home!
Here’s something you may not know: the IT sector has a huge climate impact. At present, between 3 and 4 percent of all electricity (and the associated carbon emissions) used in the world goes to running data centers. If you’re one of the four and a half million registered users of Second Life, consider this: the average Second Life avatar consumes 1,752 kWh of electricity per year, or about two thirds that of an actual person (globally averaged). One server alone has roughly the same climate impact as a 15mpg SUV!
Climate change is real, it’s happening now, and we as a planet desperately need to reduce our IT emissions. And if we wait for the government to solve the problem, we’ll be waiting for a long, long, LONG time.
It is awesome that Best Cheap Website Hosting and our server facility has joined the ranks of many progressive companies including: Starbucks, IBM, and UPS to take action on addressing climate change right now.
What makes Best Cheap Website Hosting’s program so special?
If you’re thinking about switching to green hosting, good for you! Green hosting is an important step in dealing with climate change. But be aware- once you start asking some questions you’ll find that not all of the .green. hosting options out there are nearly as green as they claim to be. Best Cheap Website Hosting's program stands out from the pack for a number of reasons . . .
One, Best Cheap Website Hosting is using renewable energy to both power and cool their servers, whereas a number of green hosts only offset the electricity used to power their servers. That represents a big difference, because servers generate a lot of heat. For every watt of electricity that a server uses, 1-2 watts of electricity are typically required to cool it. What that means is that Best Cheap Website Hosting is investing in about twice as much renewable energy, on a per server basis, as those green hosts only using renewable energy to power their servers.
Two, our server facility has invested in Green -e certified Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). That means that all RECs are verified, tracked and monitored. Sure, there are cheaper carbon credits out there, but Best Cheap Website Hosting wanted to go green the right way. We can’t very well build a windfarm in downtown Chicago, so we did the next best thing greening energy at the source with rock solid RECs.
What the heck’s a REC?
Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are tradeable credits representing all the environmental benefits of 1 megawatt hour of renewable energy. So when our facility purchases 4,009 Texas wind RECs, it’s basically paying a Texas windfarm to generate renewable energy on our facility’s behalf. Best Cheap Website Hosting doesn’t own the windfarm, but for every REC purchased by our facility, that windfarm generates 1 megawatt of Texas wind power and puts it into the grid. When our facility draws power from the grid, it can then claim credit for that wind power generated on its behalf.
Three, our facility has purchased RECs for 130% of the electricity used to power and cool its servers. Good luck finding another green host that has gone this far. Believe me- if they had, they’d let you know it.
Four, our facility has invested entirely in wind RECs generated in their home state of Texas. Even those green hosts that have opted for certified RECs are generally sourcing them from wherever is cheapest.
Best Cheap Website Hosting, on the other hand, is thinking globally and acting locally. By insisting on 100% Texas wind RECs our facility had to pay more for their credits, but they (and you) can rest easy knowing that they’re doing their part for the environment and the local green economy.
So how did we develop and implement the greening program?
First, we calculated the total amount of electricity used by our facility's servers. Based on the total number of servers and the average amount of electricity used in a year to power and cool them, we estimated that our facility would need 4,009 MWh of electricity to offset 130% of the electricity used to power and cool all of our servers
Second, we looked at our facility's carbon offsetting options. We considered RECs, Certified Emission Reductions and Verified Emission reductions, as well as a number of offset providers. Ultimately, we chose to go with RECs, and to purchase them from one of the best REC providers around: 3Degrees.
RECs and CERs and VERs, Oh My!
RECs aren’t the only offsetting option out there, there are also Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) and Voluntary/Verified Emission Reductions (VERs). The main difference between the three is this: each REC represents 1 additional megawatt of North American wind power, whereas each CER or VER represents one metric ton of reduced or avoided carbon dioxide emissions. CERs and VERs can be generated from a whole range of projects (fuel switching, forestry, changes in industrial processes, etc.), but RECs can only be created by the production of renewable energy.
So why do RECs make the most sense for Best Cheap Website Hosting? RECs enable our facility to green its energy right at the source and support the development of clean power, rather than simply paying another company to not pollute.
Finally, I should emphasize that the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits only represents our facility’s most recent step toward sustainability. Prior to the REC purchase, we had already begun the process of reducing their environmental impact at the office (recycling, minimizing paper use, etc.), and recently switched to higher efficiency servers.
What can you do to minimize your impact on the climate?
Well, for one thing you can switch your hosting company to Best Cheap Website Hosting, if you’re not already a customer! You can choose from one of the great plans.
Beyond that, there are myriad ways to go green in your personal life. Most of them are totally painless, for example turning off your computer at night, rather than leaving it in sleep mode. Many of them will save you money in the long run, for example using compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescents.
For a quick start, check out CarbonTracker.com’s list of 11 simple steps you can take to minimize your impact on the climate. For even more information, the Environmental Protection Agency has a ton of info on the subject: