Study: Yahoo Mail Users Consume 11% More Electricity Than Gmail Users


chart by opower

An interesting piece of news shared by Zach from Cleantechnica struck my attention and I instantly knew I had to blog about it. It looks like Yahoo Mail users are inclined to use more electricity than Gmail users, according to Opower, “a new customer engagement platform for the utility industry.”

“Based on the company’s cutting-edge behavioral science and patent-pending data analytics, Opower found that, on average, Yahoo Mail users consume 939 kilowatt-hours (kWh) more than Gmail users, or about 11% more electricity per year – a sizeable, statistically significant difference in usage,” they say.

I don’t know why that happens, but Opower works with more than 70 electric utilities and the data they gathered reflect about 40 million U.S. homes. They simply made a connection between the users’ e-mail addresses and their electricity consumption trends.

Intuitively finding an explanation to Opower’s finding, probably Yahoo Mail users have their e-mail accounts since 1998 or so, when they were younger, and didn’t make the effort to switch to Gmail, whose interface and concept totally differs from Yahoo’s.

Now, those who created their Yahoo accounts 14 years ago have families, cars and more devices plugged in, hence more money to spend on electricity, while those who made Gmail accounts are relatively young and didn’t have time to “evolve.”

I think things are going to level by themselves in 5 years.

That’s my explanation of the phenomenon. You may think different. Let’s hear.

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