Google Claims Most Efficient Data Centers Ever Responding to criticism for its secrecy over its data centers, Google has lifted the veil a little on how much energy its information hotbeds use. The world's largest search engine insisted that Google-designed data centers used nearly five times less energy than conventional facilities, and launched a website to inform environmentally-bent customers on their 5-step approach to efficiency. The move is important since data centers are becoming an ever-increasing drain on the energy grid, accounting for about 1.5 percent of all electricity consumed in the U.S. in 2006 (expected to rise to 2.5 percent in three years). While the efficiency levels Google touted are admirable, data center trackers cautioned that the test results hadn't been verified by a third party. [NYTimes]