Interestingly, my experiment this time was initially motivated by my efforts to reduce my internet footprint. I noticed how much I value having internet access, even to the point where I would rather do without a fridge than do without internet. (Not that it’s likely I would ever have to make that choice, but it is interesting to take note of one’s personal priorities.)
In the course of investigating the footprint of my blog and other internet activities, I learned I’m currently using about 15kWh a year total, which is very little. Of that total, this blog uses about 10kWh per year.
If my blog were to suddenly start getting, say, 5,000 times as much traffic as it does now, there would be economies of scale, and the blog itself would consume about 550kWh per year. That 550kWh per year is about the same as what might be consumed by an Energy Star fridge from the early 2000s. (An old-school fridge from the 1980s might use 1,400kWh per year!)
Reassuring note from my webhosting service when I asked them for numbers: “As a rough point of reference, the busiest site on your shared web server, which is pushing about 5000 times more traffic than your site, is burning roughly 550kW a year.”
My two previous posts on this subject are Electronic Decluttering: Online Footprint; and Electronic Decluttering: Online Footprint (Part 2).