topgreenhost – is another greenwashed hosting company?

Topgreenhost is my fifth host out of  7 of September 2010 list.  Oddly this site makes me think of hostgator  design.  As you probable guessed its another host that claims to be green.  I call it a green washed company as their big method of being green is energy credits.  So far there has not been a host that I have looked at that does not buy energy credits.  If your read my previous posts on the top of green hosting, you will know that I call this green washing.

Greenwashing (a portmanteau of “green” and “whitewash“) is a term describing the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing in order to promote a misleading perception that a company’s policies or products (such as goods or services) are environmentally friendly.

So about that Topgreenhost EPA partnership

When you click on the EPA Green Power Partner link it takes you to

So either they belong to green geeks a host that I reviewed before, or they thought they could piggy back off of Green geeks links.

If you read through you will see I contacted the EPA, and the EPA in a nutshell said.

1. This is a program that allows companies to boast that they buy energy credits.

2. The EPA does not actually confirm that a company is still buying energy credits.  There is a lack of true oversight.

So does topgreenhost belong to greengeeks?

Off to Domain Dossiair where I find that is less then a year old:

But lets look at the trace routes:


17 32 32 32


11 29 29 29

That seems to confirm that Greengeeks owns topgreenhost.  Along with that EPA link.

When I went to I thought this host was similar to some host.  I could not think of who.  At least until I clicked on that epa link which brought me straight to green geeks.  But the trace route makes me wonder if they have their own servers or if they are part of another company.

So why is topgreenhost cheaper then greengeeks for the same package?

I suspect that topgreenhost was made because the unlimited market is extremely competitive.  If you look around enough you find that hosting companies are constantly lowering the price for a unrealistic package.  If you look through the Endurance International Group’s line up hosts you will find the same package ranging between $3 – $20.   As a former hosting provider I can tell you that I encountered a lot of people that were more concerned with cost that an actual service.  The humor of it was the people that claimed to be losing thousands over less then an ten minutes of downtime.  Never mind the hosting account they purchased may have been $1.99 a month.  While cheap does not always indicate inferior service, it defiantly does not guarantee quality service.

So if you must have a greengeeks account, buy from topgreenhost.  Better yet avoid topgreenhost and find a true green host that does not buy energy credits.

GreenGeeks Not for Geeks? Is it a iPage clone or just another host that sucks?

Number 17 of May 2010, GreenGeeks another greenwashed company.   When I loaded this site the first thing I thought was that this company looked like another company I reviewed.

Side by side this company looks a lot like iPage.   But from there I have a trouble finding any other similarities.  They are owned by different entires on separate parts of the country.  They are not even on the same network.   Asides for the same chat program I am not sure if there is much else that would connect them.   But I think there may be a connection, more then just a shared theme.

But the real problem is this is a greenwashed company, not a green host.   Their big claim to being green is that they buy energy credits, but so does British Petroleum.   At this point its hard to imagine BP having any positive environmental impact.   There is not a lot of detail given by companies that offer green credits for sale.

Greengeeks have alot of links that are in reference to being a green host.

The first link is

Here you find a link to this company,

I am not sure if I am correct in my assumption but it looks like you pay them per every page view you get or you are paying for traffic that you get from their site.  That or you can buy traffic from them.   But its unclear how this offsets carbon.  Not to mention this site seems to have mostly .dk / Denmark domains, which may have to do with them being from Denmark.  Not that I have a problem with doing business with a foreign company, but I like to know details.   For an organization that does so much, there are so few webpages with data on how they do it.  Not everyone sees the green movement as a way of life, some see it as something to capitalize on.   There also those that see that they don’t have to be green to capitalize off of the green sector.  Those are companies that are called greenwashed.  Its not clear as to what Greengeeks gets from this company other then a fancy banner, and perhaps greengeeks gets traffic.

On the same page I find their reseller program, where you can sell unlimited reseller accounts.   I have a hard time believing that unlimited hosting can be associated with quality hosting, let alone a company claiming to be a  green host.  Green and efficient are two words that come to mind when being eco-friendly  Effiecent technology is not cheap in the beginning, and for that matter technology thats not part of the main trend is not cheap.  The cheaper the hosting cost, the more customers the company needs to pile in to make a profit.

They have made the claim : “It is important that this industry becomes green and GreenGeeks is the world’s most eco-friendly web hosting company”  Other then a lot of pages telling people what to do and how they can be green.  There is nothing to show exactly how green they are,  the biggest thing that is missing are the numbers.   Numbers like the amount of electrify that they use per year.  Details are also missing like what company is receiving money to run wind generators.   I am looking at actual hosting companies that have their own data centers at buildings built from the ground up to be green.  Which include solar power straight to the source.  Not buying offsets.   They can be claim to leaning towards green when they talk about rigorous recycling of paper, but nothing in regards to equipment.  But clearly they a recycle text from their web pages.

The finale link I am going to review is

From here I find a link to the EPA.

I decided to contact the EPA, because I wanted to know if you really had to provide any proof in order to be a member.


Email Exchange with the EPA

From: Benjamin
To: Matt Clouse/DC/USEPA/[email protected], Blaine Collison/DC/USEPA/[email protected],Allison Dennis/DC/USEPA/[email protected]
Date: 08/03/2010 05:18 PM
Subject: In regards to green power partnership

Hello Matt, Blaine, or Allison,

I was wonder what documentation I would have to provide to be part of the green power partnership.

Thank you for your assistance.

To: Benjamin
From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 17:21:10 -0400
Subject: Re: In regards to green power partnership


Thanks for your inquiry. The information requirements are included in

the Partnership Agreement here:

The program is designed to cover only commercial & institutional sector purchases. We’re not able to recognize residential partners at this time.

I hope this is helpful. Please let me know if you have additional questions.


From: Benjamin
To: Blaine Collison/DC/USEPA/[email protected]
Date: 08/03/2010 06:35 PM
Subject: RE: In regards to green power patnership

Hello Blaine,

I am not seeing what the EPA requires an organization to submit as valid proof of participation. From what I see you merely take the word of the submitter as opposed to any documentation. Is this the case, or do you require copies of receipts and other valid documentation?



Subject: RE: In regards to green power partnership
To: Benjamin
From: [email protected]
Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2010 19:10:30 -0400

Ah. Right you are, Benjamin. We don’t require that partners submit proof of purchase. We do, however, check our lists partners with the listed providers once or twice/year: This is what we think we have, could you, the providers, please confirm our understanding of your clients’ numbers?

Hope that helps.


RE: In regards to green power partnership‏
From: Benjamin
To: [email protected]

Hello Blaine,

I am actually contacting you for research in regards to green credits. So far I am not finding any information from the companies that provide credits and those using the credits. One of the companies that I am looking at is listed in your Green Power Partnership. But the only numbers that are given is 300%. There is no number telling me what their on the grid power consumption is. Or what companies the credit seller is getting the wind credit from.

I find it rather disturbing that the credit sellers, the companies that buy the credits, and the EPA are not disclosing numbers, facts. documentation and reasoning that a company is using renewable energy.



I never got a response back to my email from the EPA.  But it clear you do not have to give them valid proof to be in their green power partnership.  Without numbers and other data they can not prove that they are a green host.  Other then a lot of pages GreenGeeks has no relevant proof they are green,

Green Hosting, Earth friendly, or Just for Show

Today I went to Burger King. Probable not the place to be while I work on recovering a 6 pack stomach I lost from 10 years of long hours in a chair. But I wanted some French Fries, and it had been weeks since I last visited BK so I think I deserve a little slack. In front of me was a guy that ordered 2 Quad Stackers, 1 large fry, 1 large onion ring, and he asked for the a large diet Coke. The single drink did not clue me into the fact this was all his meal til I saw him sitting by himself. By the time I got a medium Coke and Large fry, the guy was sitting at a bench working on his second burger from his 3000 calorie meal.

This is pretty much is what I see of buying energy credits, planting a tree, or / and claims of buying more efficient servers. Its no better then buying the King sized diet Coke that is some how supposed to balance out all those calories from the meal. Never mind the diet Coke is not going to reduce calories. I suppose you could think of it as there being less calories then that of a non-diet drink. But there is still a huge amount of calories that will have to be worked off. Going green means a total change in habits.

You see a lot of webhosts out there stating they are going green. I am not one to have a problem with environmentally friendly practices. I freely admit to being a tree huger. I get a tree every year on Earth Day, in addition to something else. I try to go bigger then previous years. Last year for Earth Day I started a composter, and about to do a second one so I can cycle out ever year. Which means no more landscape plant trimmings and food being thrown away in addition I don’t have to buy fertilizer. Between the composter and the recycling bin my trash bin gets put to the curb once a month. This year for Earth Day I switched from florescent to led lighting. I tend to do my most major changes during Earth Day, yet I also do other changes through the year. Back in December I bought myself a Kindle right after I sold one of my Hosting companies, 85 books later I have to wonder how many trees did not have to die to provide me reading material. Then there are the cloth bags I got so I don’t have to use plastic, I eat organic food, I love to bike, I could go on and on , on how I try to live a green life style. Granted these chances were costly in the beginning but the changes end up saving me money over the long run. I spent over $1000 on LED LIGHT, but in the end they will save me money on energy costs two fold both in cost of lighting, and less heat generated for my air conditioner to compensate for, a great thing when you live in the Sonoran Desert. Not to mention they have a longer life span then my florescent lights. Then there is nothing like getting a new book for practically 1/3 the cost of its hard back counter part.

Most of the webhosts I looked at seem to focus on only one or two aspect(s) of going “green”. They either plant a tree per customer, or for that matter buy green energy credits, use more energy efficient servers. There is no company wide goal to truly be a green hosting company.

Why not?

Car pooling
LED lighting
recycling trash
recycling computers and servers
solar panels
installing vampire surge protectors

………… and lots of stuff I am sure I missed. is one of the sites that buys energy credits, for that matter they claim “All of our shared and reseller servers are now 130% wind powered!. Considering their servers are located with ThePlant I wondered how that is possible.

Network Whois record

Queried with ““…

OrgName: Internet Services, Inc. 
OrgID:      TPCM
Address:    315 Capitol
Address:    Suite 205
City:       Houston
StateProv:  TX
PostalCode: 77002
Country:    US

ReferralServer: rwhois://

I am curious to know how they determine their power usage. Though I guess they could just off servers. But what about the equipment that gets the servers online?

Then there is the claim of servers running 35% more efficient. I don’t see anything on the blog or forms about a switch on equipment, or for that matter anything about Earth Day. I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and interrupt this to mean that they started using these servers on all new accounts, perhaps even a slow migration to avoid interruption in customer service.

Though it is worth noting that the author of their blog post:

Has a website on a domain that will expire tomorrow (June 23, 2010):

Buying green energy is a start, buying more efficient servers even better, but also only a start.

I see nothing in regards to recycling, or for that matter what happens to the servers once they are no longer fit to house clients.

FatCow States:

We’re Green!

And our prizes are too! All FatCow datacenters and offices are run by 100% wind energy. Well okay, we don’t have a wind turbine on top of our buildings, but we do purchase Renewable Energy Credits to offset 100% of our power use!

Keep in mind FatCow is part of The Endurance International Group, Inc. This includes servral other hosting companies such as ipage and ipower. mentions nothing about green power. However ipower does . I am not sure why The Endurance International Group, Inc does not have all their 33 + companies listed as green companies.

Greenville Host Guarantees:

  • 200% green with certified wind energy credits
  • State of the art, energy efficient data center

Wind Energy Facts:

In 2009, wind energy supplied an estimated 73 billion kilowatt-hours or enough energy to power 7 million U.S. homes. Web hosting datacenters are responsible for 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Each megawatt of wind produced electricity translates into an economic impact of $1 million. Wind energy has the potential to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 1/3 in the near future.

A few points of interest on Greenville

Network Whois record

Queried with “!NET-204-93-163-0-1“…

Address:    5005 Newport Dr.
Address:    Suite 503
City:       Rolling Meadows
StateProv:  IL
PostalCode: 60008
Country:    US
RegDate:    2010-03-08
Updated:    2010-03-08 (greenville’s data center) does not show case the “State of the art, energy efficient data center”

The interesting thing is the % on how much data centers changes a lot between hosts. With FatCow it was 1% with another company I looked at it was 15%, then its 8%. I would love to see the real percentage for this. Not to mention the energy credits cost more then actually energy. Something else that is going to cut into that fee that customers pay for their hosting. On the plus side it helps encourage environmentally friendly energy. On the negative that even more money that’s being diverted from customer service.