Startup: GreenestHost, Solar-powered web

Website hosting is a power hungry business, and is often responsible for carbon emissions, depending on how your data center is powered. Yep, we’re guilty too and our hosting company says its local power is mainly coal. Solar-powered web hosting startup Greenest Host, launching next Wednesday, is the latest to join a growing number of start-ups already trying to build a business out of the green web hosting.

We recently met with Greenest Host CEO Mike Corrales, and he explained the 5-person, self-funded San Diego-based startup as a green web service for that ‘labor of love’ web site. The service costs between $15 to $80 per month and he says offers a more consumer-friendly, easy-to-use experience than others out there.

The way Greenest Host works is that it leases colo (co-location) space from the solar-powered web hosting company AISO. AISO was the company used to power LiveEarth’s sites, and gets power for its datacenter through its own solar panels. Corrales says the relationship is deeper than just co-location, and they do their own account management, web design and software tools.

We’re not sure the startup’s business model is all that compelling. Corrales says its value-add over AISO’s and other similar services out there is the software’s ease-of-use. We haven’t checked it out yet, but it would have to be pretty stellar to beat the competition. Sizable costs of leasing datacenter space also can make margins pretty clim.

Greenest Host’s service comes out of beta on August 1st, but it will need to be pretty compelling and easy to use to beat the competition. There’s already several green web hosting companies like GoGreen Hosting, Sustainable Web Sites and ecoSky that have similar offers. But Greenest Host is one of the ones that doesn’t use offsets or carbon credits, but actual renewable energy. Some of these companies say their services are powered by renewable energy but actually purchase renewable energy credits to offset their dirty energy usage.

Then there’s Greenest Host’s competition with AISO’s own web-hosting offer, which Corrales readily admits to. “They know that there is competition out there, so they’d rather be a wholesaler

As for our own web site options? We’ll look into renewables and let you know what we find.

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