Google users who accessed the search engine from the San Francisco area yesterday were served an all black version of the Google Homepage. No, Google is not caving in to the ‘Blackle‘ energy saving movement, which insists that by switching over to a black homepage Google will contribute to energy conservation around the world; instead Google is working with the city of San Francisco to raise awareness of the Lights Out San Francisco energy conservation project.
Google users in the San Francisco Bay Area will notice today that we “turned the lights out” on the Google.com homepage as a gesture to raise awareness of a citywide energy conservation event called Lights Out San Francisco.
On Saturday, October 20, 2007, Lights Out San Francisco invites the entire city of San Francisco to install one compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL) and turn off all lights for one hour, from 8:00 pm to 9:00 pm PDT. According to estimates, turning the lights out in San Francisco for even one hour could save as much as 15 percent of the energy consumed on an average Saturday night.
Given our company’s commitment to environmental awareness and energy efficiency, we strongly support the Lights Out campaign, and have darkened our homepage today to help spread awareness of what we hope will be a highly successful citywide event.
If Google switched to a permanent black homepage design would it save energy in the long run? Google says not really:
We’re committed to reducing the effects of climate change by promoting energy efficiency, but current evidence doesn’t suggest that a permanent change to a black background would be beneficial to either the environment or our users.