Blue Button, Green Button, and now Orange Button... what do they all mean?
The Blue Button started it all and “lets you go online and download your health records so you can use them to improve your health, have more control over your personal health information and your family’s healthcare.” (HealthIT.gov, retrieved 2016-03-03)
The Green Button followed that great work to: “provide utility customers with easy and secure access to their energy usage information in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format.” (Energy.gov, retrieved 2016-04-19)
The Orange Button, “originally named Solar Bankability Data to Advance Transactions and Access,” builds on the success of the Blue and Green Buttons and “targets a reduction in soft costs [associated with solar-energy] by streamlining the collection, security, management, exchange, and monetizing of solar datasets across the value chain of solar [...to...] facilitate the growth and expansion of distributed solar.” (Energy.gov, retrieved 2016-04-19)
Solar ‘soft costs’ are those beyond the hardware of panels, wires, and converters: They can include permitting fees, installation, acquisition costs, supply-chain costs, and others.
Where do I get my energy information?
The Green Button is still where the energy information is found—whether from a utility, an aggregator, or perhaps even from the software that interfaces to your solar array.
What about Water and Natural Gas?
Water usage and natural-gas usage are also found via the Green Button. If your utility does not yet provide the Green Button, let us know—and let them know that you want it. The Green Button Alliance is here to help make the Green Button available to everyone.