What is Green Button?
The Green Button initiative is an industry-led effort that responds to a White House call-to-action to provide utility customers with easy and secure access to their energy usage information in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format. Customers are able to securely download their own detailed energy usage with a simple click of a literal "Green Button" on electric utilities' websites. Click the button for a sample file:
With their own data in hand, consumers can take advantage of a growing array of online services to help them manage energy use and save on their bills. Voluntary adoption of a consensus industry standard by utilities and companies across the country both enables and incentivizes software developers and other entrepreneurs to build innovative applications, products and services which will help consumers manager energy use by, for example, programming their home energy management devices, sizing and financing rooftop solar panels, and helping a contractor to verify their home energy savings more cost-effectively.
Adoption of the Green Button data standard will also benefit utilities that receive numerous requests for data, are administering energy efficiency programs, are looking for avenues for greater customer engagement, and in many other ways.
What has been the success and progress on the initiative to date?
The Green Button initiative was officially launched in January 2012. To date, a total of 35 utilities and electricity suppliers have signed on to the initiative. In total, these commitments ensure that 36 million homes and businesses will be able to securely access their own energy information in a standard format. This number will continue to grow as utilities nation-wide voluntarily make energy data more available to their customers in this common, machine-readable format.
The following utilities have already committed to Green Button: American Electric Power, Austin Energy, Baltimore Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy, Chattanooga EPB, Commonwealth Edison, Glendale Water and Power, National Grid, NSTAR, Oncor, Pacific Power, Pepco Holdings, PG&E, PECO, Portland General Electric, PPL Electric Utilities, Reliant, Rocky Mountain Power, SDG&E, Southern California Edison, TXU Energy, and Virginia Dominion Power.
Utilities Committed to Implementing Green Button:
American Electric Power
Baltimore Gas & Electric
Bangor Hydro Electric Company
Central Maine Power
Connecticut Light and Power
Glendale Water and Power
Kootenai Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Pepco Holdings Inc.
PPL Electric Utilities
Public Service Company of New Hampshire
Rocky Mountain Power
Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation
Southern California Edison
The United Illuminating Company
Virginia Dominion Power
Western Massachusetts Electric Company
Companies Currently Support or Pledging to Support Green Button Data:
Building Energy Inc.
Calico Energy Services
eMeter - A Siemens Business
Gas and Power Technologies
High Energy Audits
Performance Systems Development
Silver Spring Networks
Smart Grid Labs
Smart Utility Systems
What is the Green Button data standard?
Green Button is based on the Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) data standard released by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) in the fall of 2011. The data standards development process was facilitated by the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, a public private partnership that is facilitated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The ESPI standard consists of two components: 1) a common XML format for energy usage information and 2) a data exchange protocol which allows for the automatic transfer of data from a utility to a third party based on customer authorization. All of the utilities that have committed to Green Button will implement the common XML data format in an easy to download manner.
What does Green Button data include?
The Green Button data standard is flexible enough to handle different types of energy data and time interval usage, and applications are being developed for both residential and commercial customers. The data can be provided in 15-minute, hourly, daily, or monthly intervals depending on what a utility decides to make available and what level of detail they are able to provide. The Green Button Initiative is not limited to utilities that have deployed smart meters that produce very detailed information about energy consumption, but also includes utilities that are able to provide only monthly billing data. The ESPI data standard can also be extended in the future to support natural gas and water usage information and other uses, and these options are being explored.
What is Green Button Connect My Data?
Many utilities are implementing Green Button Download My Data which means that the utility customer can download their own energy consumption data directly to their own computer, and if they so choose, upload their own data to a third party application. Green Button Connect My Data is a new capability which allows utility customers to automate the secure transfer their own energy usage data to authorized third parties, based on affirmative (opt-in) customer consent and control.
What about data access, privacy, and security issues?
Green Button is consistent with current privacy and security practices, since customers have to first authenticate themselves on a utility portal with a login and password before they see and download their own information. If they want, customers can share their own data that they have downloaded, by independent choice and action, with those they trust. As some utilities deploy Green Button Connect My Data (the full ESPI standard) in the future, thereby enabling automated transfers of Green Button data from a utility to a third party service, such transfers will happen only if a customer has granted explicit permission.
Getting Started With Green Button
Want to learn more? Check out the links at the bottom of this page for more information.