According to a report by Opower, which looked at the correlation between email address and electricity usage across 2.8 million American households, Yahoo Mail household uses 11% more electricity per year than a Gmail household. Opower said it was “a sizeable, statistically significant difference.”
The company, based in Arlington, VA, said it focused on Yahoo Mail and Gmail because they were the most popular domains in their dataset. The email addresses correspond to the member of the household who manages the electricity bill.
Portions of the Opower report follow:
The usage difference — 939 kilowatt-hours per year — is stark: Yahoo households consume almost a whole extra month of electricity relative to Gmail households and there are some key demographic and lifestyle differences between Gmailers and Yahoo users that are likely to affect their household electricity usage.
Hunch.com and Experian 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 age 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 five or more countries), and so might be away from home more often.
Opower’s own data also suggest that Gmail users may have a greater interest in energy-efficiency. Among the approximately 10 million US households that have access to utility web-based energy-efficiency advice tools that Opower manages, Gmail users are 30% more likely than Yahoo users to sign up for an in-depth analysis of how they can reduce their energy usage.
You can find the full report here: