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.
With access to their own data, consumers are able to take advantage of a growing array of online services. These services help them manage energy use and save on their bills. Green Button is based on NAESB Req.21, "Energy Service Provider Interface" (ESPI). Voluntary adoption of a consensus industry standard by those involved in the utilities industry...utilities, vendors, companies, individuals...enables and provides incentives for software developers and entrepreneurs to build innovative applications, products and services. These services will help consumers manage their energy use. Examples include programming their home energy management devices, sizing and helping their contractor verify and manage their home energy use more efficiently.
Adoption of the Green Button data standard will also benefit utilities that receive numerous requests for data, in administering energy efficiency programs, and looking for avenues for greater customer engagement.
The Green Button initiative was officially launched in January 2012. To date, over 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. It is likely that your utility offers Green Button access to your energy data, or will in the near future.
What is Green Button Certification?
Green Button Certification is the process of testing whether or not "Green Button" implementations comply with ESPI. Implementations that successfully pass Green Button certification testing will in the long run me more efficient to operate and maintain, and ensure the end use consumer has ready access to their data in the same format, no matter where they might live...now and in the future. UCAIug's Interoperability Testing and Certification Authority (ITCA) for Green Button provides the Test Scheme for implementing and operating the Green Button Certification process.
Who benefits from Green Button Certification?
The utility industry has a number of stakeholders who will be impacted by a successful Green Button Certification program:
Customers benefit from being able to access their energy usage data for analysis and consideration of actions to improve their usage, and lower their energy cost.
Energy Consultants benefit from having electronic access to the customers energy data, without having pour through stacks of manual data.
Software Application Vendors benefit from lower cost of implementation due to data being available in an expected format.
Software System Vendors benefit from reduced effort in interfacing with and analysis of customer data in a standard format.
Utilities and other Data Custodians benefit from more efficient interaction with customers, and customers who are satisfied with the service they are given.
The benefits of all of the stakeholders will be measured in lower costs of implementation, operation, maintenance and use of consumer data for a more efficient smart grid.