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Posted at 03:10 PM ET, 09/08/2011

Google discloses energy use


Google Inc. said its servers, per user, consume the same amount of energy as a 60-watt bulb left on for three hours. (Tony Avelar - BLOOMBERG)

Clarification: This post originally misstated the amount of electricity Google’s data centers consume.

One 60-watt bulb left running for three hours — that’s how much energy Google said its servers use per user, per month.

In a company blog post Thursday, Google shared some information on how much energy its services consume, saying that it’s worked hard to cut down its carbon footprint.

Google estimated that its data centers account for about one percent of the electricity used by data centers, which are believed to make up one percent of the world’s electricity use. Per year, Google said, its data center operations use about 2,260 megawatt-hours, or slightly more than emissions put out by the country of Laos, the Guardian reported. The company is a vocal proponent of purchasing carbon offsets to balance out the emissions, and said it has been a carbon-neutral company since 2007.

Google and other tech companies that rely on massive servers to operate have faced criticism from environmental groups who say the companies’ services consume too much energy.

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By  |  03:10 PM ET, 09/08/2011

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