It’s surprising how much you can tell about a person based on their email address alone, and no two domains are pitted against one another more than Yahoo and Gmail. In the latest tête-à-tête, energy software company Opower compared the annual electricity usage of more than 2 million Gmail and Yahoo users.
They found Yahoo users suck up 11 per cent more juice––939 kilowatt-hours per year––than their Gmail counterparts. In dollars and cents, that’s like paying an extra $110 on their electric bills.
“Yahoo households consume almost a whole extra month of electricity relative to Gmail households,” Opower says. “It’s as if, relative to the average Yahoo household, the average Gmailer is strictly hang-drying their laundry, forgoing high-definition TV, and hand-washing their dishes with cold water for a year.”
Bigger pads. “Based on square footage data that we have for single-family residences, we found that the typical YahooMail household uses 12 per cent more electricity per square foot of living space than the typical Gmail household,” Opower says. Past studies by Experian and Hunch.com found that Yahoo users tend to favour larger homes in suburban and rural areas compared to the Gmail sect, which prefers city scapes.
Lifestyle differences. Thanks to research by Credit Karma, we already know Gmailers and Yahoo users differ in age––averaging 34 years old and 38 years old, respectively. But Opower dug deeper, finding that Gmail users are also more energy conscious: “Among the approximately 10 million U.S. households that have access to utility web-based energy-efficiency advice tools that Opower manages, Gmail users are 30 per cent more likely than Yahoo users to sign up for an in-depth analysis of how they can reduce their energy usage.”
Odds are that switching up your email address won’t lower your electric bill, per se, but it’s never too late to change your energy habits.
That could mean investing in sleek new solar panels or retrofitting your apartment with energy-efficient appliances. Your Money contributor Kimberly Palmer keeps it simple with low-cost energy-saving tips.
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