Netflix reveals its energy consumption nearly DOUBLED last year as it streamed content to 158 MILLION subscribers
- In an annual sustainability report Netflix says its energy use rose 84 percent
- It consumed the equivalent amount of electricity as 40,000 American homes
- Around 20 percent of its energy usage went to its own offices and studios
- The remaining 80 percent was consumed by external partners and servers
This month, Netflix revealed that its energy usage for 2019 was almost double what it had been in 2018.
The company consumed the equivalent of what 40,000 average American homes would consume in a year.
Netflix burned through a total of 451,000 megawatt hours of energy in 2019, rising from 245,000 megawatt hours in 2018.
It takes the equivalent amount of energy to keep Netflix’s streaming services running as 40,000 American houses would use in a year, and the company’s energy consumption nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019
94,000 megawatt hours went to keeping the lights on in its own offices and studio spaces.
Another 357,000 megawatt hours went to what the company terms ‘indirect electricity use.’
This includes all the electricity used by external companies to support its streaming service, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and servers maintained with various internet service providers around the world.
In 2018, the company’s indirect energy use was just 194,000 megawatt hours while its office and studio consumption was 51,000 megawatt hours, according to a summary in Variety.
While Netflix’s energy usage is rising, it says it’s taking measures to reduce the environmental impact of that consumption.
Netflix points to their support for renewable energy projects in 20 countries around the world, including Brazil, Croatia, Colombia, South Africa, Vietnam, Turkey, Malaysia, and elsewhere.
Netflix breaks its energy usage into two categories, one covers what its own offices and studios use, which account for around 20 percent of its total usage. The second category includes all the external partners like Amazon Web Services, which help keep its content available 24 hours a day
The company is also backing renewable energy development in 15 US states, including Alaska, Georgia, South Dakota, Texas, and New York.
Netflix acknowledges an unspecified percentage of its energy usage comes from non-renewable sources, but the company claims it offsets this usage with an equivalent amount of energy drawn from 100 percent renewable sources.
The company also highlights its efforts to promote environmentally conscious practices in its offices, and through the content it distributes.
‘In our offices, sustainable practices include donating excess food and reducing our use of paper,’ the company report states.
‘Finally, through content like Our Planet—featuring David Attenborough and supported by the World Wildlife Fund—we work with storytellers who use their talents to build awareness around environmental issues, reaching millions of people around the world.’