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Web hosting services getting greener


Jason Hildebrand, Remote Services Manager for Peaceworks Computer Consulting

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February 14, 2011
- Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, MAN. — Mennonite Church Canada just got a tiny bit greener, thanks to its internet service provider, Peaceworks Computer Consulting of Waterloo, Ont.

Peaceworks began investigating green energy options for the company's internet servers when clients - including Mennonite Church Canada - began inquiring about alternatives, said Jason Hildebrand, Remote Services Manager. Starting this year, the company will purchase one unit of certified renewable energy for every unit of energy its web and email servers consume. Certified renewable energy is generated from renewable resources, and is injected back into the power grid.

Peaceworks presently purchases internet server space in Ontario, New Jersey, and Missouri. Electrical energy sources in these locations are likely generated by combination of nuclear and fossil fuel, said Hildebrand. While it would be nice to locate its servers in places where renewable energy is readily available, the service and support of large server "farms" also depends on highly technical and specialized support staff already in existing locations, he said.

Under present market conditions, renewable energy costs more than energy from traditional sources, but those costs can have a pay-off.

"By purchasing these credits we are increasing demand for renewable energy. If lots of people vote with their money, we could increase green energy supply," said Hildebrand, adding that the increased cost for Peaceworks is anticipated to be about of a per cent - a cost they won't be adding to customer invoices.