Facebook’s exact response was that, “The suggestions of ‘choosing coal’ ignore the fact that there is no such thing as a coal-powered data center. Similarly, there is no such thing as a hydroelectric-powered data center. Every data center plugs into the grid offered by their utility or power provider.” On the other hand, Facebook apparently has plans to build a more energy efficient and less consuming data center on a cloud computing platform and also allegated that GreenPeace (the ones who began the criticism) had their own share of guilt because they themselves use coal power to support their data center too.
They’re also partnering with a group called OPOWER to build an app that will allow users to measure how much energy they use each day. The hope of Facebook is that people will compete with each other to see who can get the lowest energy as the app will allow people to view their friends’ energy use as well as other individuals who live similar lifestyles. By giving people the option to engage in friendly competition, they will also be helping the environment and figuring out new ways they can lower their bills.
The app works by communicating with over 60 different utility companies, both here in the US and in the UK so that users can see how much energy they consume on a regular basis. The app will also supply helpful tips for reducing energy, finally giving consumers a way to control their own bill.
If Facebook is supplying this app for its users, maybe they will use it themselves and see how much they can decrease their energy consumption!
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