Black is the new green

Must admit that I didn’t notice this story when it first broke (despite having over 4,000 diggs!), but there’s an interesting thought that if Google were to invert the colours of it’s pages (with a black background) it would save approximately 750MWh (Mega Watt hours) of energy per year.

This sounds fantastic (it sounded more fantastic before the migration from CRT to LCD got factored in and the savings were 3,000MWh). But. A note of caution. The average electricity consumption of a UK household is just shy of 4MWh per year, meaning that even Google can only save the electricity of 192 UK homes. Rather stops you worrying about energy consumption in your web design. Still, black is the new green makes for a nice slogan. Those interested in the power consumption of different colours (on CRTs) can find out more from the US Gov.

Interesting that blackle (a black page Google custom search) has gained a lot of traction among the eco/ethical crowd. If I’m honest it looks like a fairly cynical ploy; host AdSense on a standard version of Google and tout yourselves as ethical. Given the energy savings that such a site offers in reality it’s just another way of getting traffic to your ads – nothing more, nothing less. 469kWh saved to date (as I write this post). Approximately 10% of one UK household. I’m betting the ad revenue would pay for a whole lot more electricity (or solar panels, or wind turbines) than that.