Black is the New White

A teenager’s invention to help save the planet.

When thirteen-year-old Andrew Davey read a blog by a leading expert in green computing, explaining how changing from a white background computer screen to a black one could save energy, he decided to put the theory to the test. He is now the proud owner of an environmentally-friendly search engine called – a search engine with the motto “We are saving energy, now it's your turn”.

Andrew’s search engine uses a black background which saves energy because the computer monitor uses 59 watts to produce the image on the screen, whereas a white or light screen uses 74 watts to display the image. This means that every time is used, it saves 15 watts. As it is Google-powered the search results are exactly the same but use less energy.

The blog which inspired Andrew to invent his search-engine explains the maths: "Google gets about 200 million queries a day. Assuming each query is displayed for about 10 seconds, that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day. If users run Google in the usual full-screen mode, the shift to a black background would save a total of 8.3 megawatt-hours per day, or about 3000 megawatt-hours per year." Andrew realised that was a whole lot of carbon-dioxide that could be saved from entering the atmosphere.

So Andrew got to work. “I've always been good at computers and I had previously made a website for my Dad’s small medal business. I came up with the idea of an eco-friendly search engine as I want to be an entrepreneur and help stop global warming”.

Andrew had been learning about energy-saving issues at Woking High School. When he showed his search-engine to his teachers, they were very impressed and started to use it. “My friends really like it too” says Andrew. “I’m just trying to get them out of the habit of using Google! I think helping the environment is a great thing to do. Every little helps”.

To use Andrew’s search engine go to