The Green Button Initiative: Access your Utility Information Now!

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Looking for a quick way to download your utility information? Look no further.  As a response to a White House call-to-action last September, electricity providers and suppliers have developed Green Button, a user-friendly app that allows customers to download their energy usage data with a few simple pieces of information and the click of a button.  Depending on what your utility provider can offer, this data may be available by month, day, or even 15-minute intervals!  The initiative has quickly grown, as it started with just two utilities, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric, offering the feature on their websites.  Five utilities have since implemented the feature on their websites, and fourteen utility providers and suppliers have committed to adopt the button. You can check out the list of these utility providers and suppliers here.  The Department of Energy has also created a map that shows users the level of data they can access.  In total, approximately 31 million households now have access to their energy information, providing them the ability to make smart energy decisions and cut utility costs. 

How Can Green Button Work for You?

The overarching goal of Green Button is to help consumers save money by conserving energy.  But how can you best use your Green Button data? It depends who you are.  Software developers benefit greatly from the standardized format of energy information that is machine friendly.  Dozens of apps have already been created that use the data, including an app we created for the Boston Cleanweb Hackathon in which users’ “houses” battle, the winner being the house with the lowest energy usage.  Anyone contemplating an energy efficiency retrofit or who has recently completed a retrofit, from home owners to commercial customers, can easily download data and determine their energy savings.  Property owners seeking for ways to involve their tenants in energy efficiency programs can also use the data in energy efficiency competitions. You can read about other ideas for how to use Green Button data on the Green Button website.

So download your data, check out some energy apps, and start saving yourself money by saving energy!