Green Button Alliance - Happenings (Blog)

GBA Annual Members Meeting Gathers Industry Leaders & Innovators

The 2017 Green Button Alliance Members Meeting was attended by leading utilities, large industry players, government agencies, app vendors, and affiliate organizations who gathered today at Sempra Energy® headquarters in San Diego — the parent company of GBA Sponsor and Founding member, San Diego Gas & Electric® — to discuss numerous Green Button achievements and to envision the path forward for the industry's energy data-access standard.

The GBA reviewed its successful expansion of the Green Button ecosystem in the short 24 months since it was founded.  The expert audience discussed current member developments, the growth of the GBA ecosystem, and ways to influence rapid adoption and implementation.

GBA Member Meeting

2016-12 NIST Green Button API Series in ProgrammableWeb

ProgrammableWeb, a widely known source of news and information for Internet-based application programming interfaces (APIs), just published a series in their API University section written by Dr. Martin J. Burns, with an introduction by Dr. David A. Wollman, both of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Green Button and its use of OAuth

  • Intro:  Understanding the Green Button API Initiative and Why It Matters
  • Part 1:  Getting To Know The Primary Use Cases of The Green Button API initiative
  • Part 2:  Understanding The Requirements and Standards Behind The Green Button API Initiative
  • Part 3:  How Green Button Ingeniously Extended The OAuth Standard Without Forking It
  • Part 4:  How The Green Button API Initiative Takes Advantage of OAuth's Scope Parameter
  • Part 5:  How Green Button Made The "Pull-Only" OAuth Standard Support Push APIs Too
  • Conclusion:  How Can Other API Implementations Benefit From Green Button's OAuth Inventions?
http://www.programmableweb.com/api-university/how-green-button-initiative-secured-its-apis-oauth

2016-12 Member News

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) provides energy services to 15 million people and covers 70,000 square miles across Northern California. PG&E was one of the first utilities in the U.S. to make Green Button Data available to its customers with the launch of Green Button Download in December 2011 and launched its first publicly accessible API, Share My Data, based on Green Button Connect My Data, in March 2015. Today, PG&E's Share My Data platform is accessible to all customers to share their electric and gas interval usage and billing data in an ongoing manner to companies of their choice. PG&E's Share My Data platform now offers 50 registered third-party Green Button applications with approximately 55,000 Service Agreement ID's (SAIDs) being shared on a given day. The applications are being leveraged by a variety of companies, including: app developers to help customers understand and manage their energy usage; solar providers to help size PV installations and calculate more accurate financial forecasts, non-utility demand response providers to bid resources into the CAISO market; and with energy efficiency contractors and lenders to provide loans to customers which can be repaid via their PG&E bill.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

MaRS Discovery District (MaRSDD), the Ontario Ministry of Energy, and utilities London Hydro and Hydro One have been working hand-in-hand to bring the benefits of the Green Button standard to electricity customers in Ontario, Canada, since November, 2012. Following the completion of successful Green Button pilot projects with London Hydro and Hydro One, over 3 million electricity consumers in Ontario now have access to their Green Button energy usage data. Ontario's 2016 Climate Change Action Plan now calls for expanding Green Button to enable data access from electricity, natural gas and water utilities from across the province. In this new article, "Unlocking Innovation Through Energy Data Standards," Ron Dizy, managing director of the Advanced Energy Centre (AEC) at MaRSDD, discusses the benefits of standardized energy data, key findings from the Ontario pilot projects, and from subsequent stakeholder consultations.  A  key finding was that commercial-sector customers, in particular, have a critical need for standardized access to consumption and billing data to meet requirements for reporting, internal benchmarking, and consumption reduction. Also in the article, the AEC has produced a new video, which well-describes the commercial sector drivers for Green Button. For key findings from the Ontario Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) Pilot Program, see the final report; and for Green Button CMD implementation lessons learned, see the industry adoption report, both included in the article.

AEC

Cielo Wigle Inc., based in Redmond, Washington, launched its plug and play smart home products for air conditioners/heat pumps, lighting and appliances at the Climate Expo, held 3-5 October in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Branded as Breez and Breezi (internal version), the Breezi smart controller enables split air-conditioner/heat pump manufacturers to easily convert their existing air-conditioner/heat pumps into smart appliances, allowing manufacturers to provide remote management and efficient control of cooling/heating to their customers. Cielo's Breez smart controller enables consumers to efficiently monitor and control their cooling/heating from anywhere. Cielo's new smart lights and smart outlets are branded as Lumi and Econi.  Econi enables energy measurement of all connected appliances and real-time billing information. All Cielo products are managed through a single Cielo smart home mobile app for iOS, Android and web-based applications that leverages predictive algorithms and machine learning to learn customer behavior to maximize convenience and energy efficiency. See Cielo's new video. Cielo will be launching its smart home technology for the U.S. market at the AHR Expo in Las Vegas on 30 January - 01 February 2017, in booth C1689. Follow Cielo on Twitter: @CieloWigle.

Cielo WiGle

2016-11-10 Green Button Board Election Results

The Green Button Alliance (GBA) announced the results of its first annual board of directors election. Cengizhan Yenerim, Director, Demand Risk Management, Think Energy (ENGIE Resources) was elected to serve in a two-year seat and Elena Lucas, CEO of UtilityAPI will serve in a one-year seat.  Yenerim and Lucas join the Green Button Alliance’s visionary board in guiding the Alliance in its mission to accelerate the delivery of standardized Green Button technologies to the market that empower residential and commercial customers around the world to access and share their energy and water usage data to manage resource consumption. 

The GBA fosters the development, compliance, and wide-spread adoption of the Green Button electricity, natural gas, and water data-sharing standard. 

Read the press release here.

2016-10 Member News

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has been a pioneer of the Green Button initiative since its inception and is a founding member of the Green Button Alliance.  SDG&E recently enhanced its Green Button Connect platform with added functionalities to offer greater convenience and higher analytical value for customers; these functionalities include cost data, "Quality of Reading" indicator in the Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) file - whether the data is "revenue quality" - gas usage in the ESPI file and full OAuth integration to support real time APIs. SDG&E is committed to finding new and improved ways to serve our customers and to support the advancement of the Green Button ecosystem. Today, SDG&E customers have the ability to access their energy usage and select from nearly 29 applications, covering a wide variety of activities, to help them efficiently manage their energy consumption.
San Diego Gas & Electric

Solar Analytics, in the midst of appearing at several consecutive solar and energy events in both the U.S. and Australia─including at Solar Power International 2016 (SPI) in Las Vegas 12-15 September and All-Energy Australia in Melbourne 4-5 October─has also closed a $4.4 million Series A funding round from existing seed investor AGL Energy and private investors from the renewable energy sector. Solar Analytics is the innovator of intelligent Solar and Energy Smart Monitors and Service which gives users real-time data on their solar system's performance and home energy usage to help ensure efficient production and consumption. Solar Analytics now monitors over 10,000 energy systems in Australia, and having recently opened an office in San Francisco is rapidly growing their solar installer resellers in the USA. The Green Button Alliance congratulates Solar Analytics!
Solar Analytics

Energy Toolbase is an industry leading software platform for modeling and proposing the economics of solar and energy storage projects. Their software-as-a-service (SaaS) product is used by hundreds of leading distributed energy organizations across the U.S.  In September, Energy Toolbase released its latest version which enables users to model Net Energy Metering (NEM) 2.0 projects to analyze any scenario where kilowatt-hour solar exports are valued at less than the retail rate; create fully customized and interactive proposals; and leverage API integrations to interact with leading third party service providers including UtilityAPI. Via Energy Toolbase's integration with UtilityAPI, users can seamlessly import interval meter data from UtilityAPI, to precisely re-create a customer's utility bill and then optimize their solar or storage system size for dollar savings. To see a demo or sign-up for a free-trial, visit www.energytoolbase.com.
Energy Toolbase

Webinar: Green Button 101

The Green Button Alliance hosted a webinar, "Green Button 101", on 13 October 2016 to educate the industry and consumers on the many powerful capabilities of the Green Button data-access standard, as well as communicate real-world benefits from a leading U.S. utility and application-provider perspective.  GBA general manager Jeremy J. Roberts, Paul Monette of founding member Southern California Edison (SCE) and Elena Lucas of member UtilityAPI presented. The webinar featured a lively Q&A session enabling the presenters to answer questions from  attendees. In case you missed it, access the Q&A here.
Green Button 101 Webinar

Green Button Alliance Hosts Panel at DR & DER World Forum

The Green Button Alliance hosted a panel session, "Bridging the Utility Data Access Gap to Enable Operational Efficiencies, New Data-driven Energy Efficiency Programs and Residential and Commercial Customer Engagement," at the 3rd Annual Demand Response & DER World Forum on 10-11 October 2016 in Chicago. GBA board member Sasha Sud of the Advanced Energy Centre, GBA board member Amy Kight Costadone of PG&E, GBA member Martha Amram of WattzOn, and Steve Nguyen of BuildingIQ participated on the panel. The panel expertly addressed innovative technologies and services enabled by AMI and real-time energy usage data and Green Button trending data, the ability to securely share that information with authorized third-parties, as well as how energy usage data, analytics and auto DR, and the energy Internet of Things (IoT) can be leveraged to engage with residential and commercial customers.
DR & DER World Forum

White House Open Data Innovation Summit with Solutions Showcase

The first White House Open Data Innovation Summit with Solutions Showcase was held in conjunction with the Data Foundation's 4th annual open data policy conference, Data Transparency 2016 on 28 September 2016 in Washington D.C. The event showcased innovations and achievements in U.S. open data. One of the many highlights included a U.S. CTO panel consisting of current U.S. CTO Megan Smith and former U.S. CTOs Aneesh Chopra and Todd Park. Chopra noted the U.S. "My Data" movement and the Green Button initiative within his talk. Smith referenced Green Button in her closing remarks later in the event. The Green Button Alliance was selected to both speak and exhibit at the event. GBA chairman, Syed Mir, CIO of London Hydro, addressed the Green Button Alliance's vision, goals, and Green Button progress and innovation, implementations and customer successes. 

GBA general manager, Jeremy J. Roberts, highlighted member Green Button achievements in the U.S. and globally and educated attendees on Green Button functionality and broad benefits. The Solutions Showcase at the Summit was well-attended and great opportunity to interface with government, cross-sector industry and technology representatives working to advance Open Data. Green Button Alliance board members David A. Wollman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Christopher J. Irwin of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) were in attendance along with GBA staff at the Showcase. Syed Mir had the opportunity to discuss Green Button with U.S. CTO Megan Smith at the Summit. The GBA is continuing to educate stakeholders on the benefits enabled by consumer access to Green Button energy and water usage data, including the assurance of customer privacy and data security.
(L-R): GBA board member David A. Wollman, NIST; GBA chairman Syed Mir, London Hydro; GBA general manager Jeremy J. Roberts; Zoran Stojanovic, London Hydro; GBA board member Christopher J. Irwin, U.S. DOE(L-R) GBA chairman Syed Mir and U.S. CTO Megan Smith

Green Button Fires Up Energy Sector Transformation

The Green Button Alliance and member company PG&E – represented by Jeremy J. Roberts and Abhijit Roy, respectively – were featured alongside CA Technologies in this informative article by CA Technologies entitled:  "Green Button Fires up Energy Sector."

Get Your Share of Energy Savings by Sharing Energy Data

Green Button Alliance member PG&E’s Megan Porter (Senior Program Marketing Manager) wrote a blog entry about their streamlined way to share your PG&E energy usage information with companies who can use it to analyze and reduce your energy use. They call it their Share My Data offering: "Get Your Share of Energy Savings by Sharing Your Energy Data."

2016-08 Member News

On 21 July, Energyworx, providers of SaaS-based energy data management and energy intelligence solutions that help utility and energy companies navigate and monetize the energy transition, announced a €1 million Series A funding round led by venture capital firm henQ. Energyworx will use the new funding to scale its U.S. and European operations, including the opening of a new office in San Francisco. Energyworx has appointed Marcel E. Smit as CEO. Founder, Edwin Poot, has been named Chief Visionary Officer and will focus on the company’s long-term product strategy. In June, Energyworx was coined a “Rock Star” of GridEdge World Forum 2016 held in San Jose, California; read the company’s re-cap here and see Edwin Poot’s interview live from the event [YouTube] as he explains Energyworx’ role in the energy transition and how the company helps customers monetize their data.
Energyworx

In August, Chai Energy and Energy Upgrade California® teamed up to provide California residents with the tools and information they need to save energy and money on their utility bills. The two companies are inviting California utility customers to sign up for Chai Energy's popular Green Button mobile app. Through the offer, the first 1,000 qualified registrants will receive a Chai Energy Pro for free. Chai Energy Pro is a smart energy gateway that connects to the home's network and collects the customer’s energy usage data in real-time (every 7 seconds) from their smart meter. Customers can then use the Chai mobile app to tag individual appliances in their homes to see energy usage of specific appliances, receive customized notifications, and be informed of any utility rebates for replacing existing inefficient appliances—all on their mobile phone. See how the Chai Pro and Chai Energy mobile app work together on this new video [Vimeo].
Chai Energy

2016-07 Member News

Silver Spring Networks announced it has opened its new headquarters in San Jose, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley, and deployed its Internet of Things (IoT) network across the city. Silver Spring executives were joined by local public officials including San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and executives from Silver Spring customers Pacific Gas & Electric and CPS Energy for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tour of the company's new IoT demonstration facility. During the event, Mayor Liccardo highlighted how innovations such as Silver Spring's IoT platform are enabling San Jose's vision of becoming a smart city by 2020. The Green Button Alliance congratulates Silver Spring Networks on its new headquarters and IoT network deployment in San Jose.
Silver Spring NetworksPacific Gas and Electric

In memoriam

EnerNex announced Erich W. Gunther, co-founder, chairman, and CTO of EnerNex, passed-away on 18 June 2016. Erich was a leader in the field of smart-grid networks and technologies. He participated as chairman emeritus of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) GridWise Architecture Council (GWAC); served on the IEEE Power and Energy Society Governing Board, and was recognized for his career-long work in the field of electric power quality by being named a IEEE Fellow; was vice chairman of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) board of directors; served as chairman of the Green Button Alliance's parent company, the Utility Communications Architecture International Users Group (UCAIug), and was a Green Button evangelist. We will miss Erich for his vision and his contributions to the energy industry but especially for his personality, the friendships he created, and his willingness to assist anyone that asked.

White House Summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets

The White House hosted a summit on Scaling Renewable Energy and Storage with Smart Markets; 16 June 2016. The Summit brought-together regulators, utilities, municipalities, and energy companies that are leading efforts to promote smart electricity markets and grid integration of renewable energy and energy storage. On behalf of the Green Button Alliance, Jeremy J. Roberts, general manager, participated and informed attendees about Green Button energy data; the powerful functionality enabled by the standard; customer privacy; and the technology’s ability to remove barriers to enable utilities and energy service companies to offer critical access to energy-use data that will drive efficiency and facilitate a modern, data-driven grid.
The White House

White House Open Data Roundtable: Open Data for Public-Private Collaboration

On 15 June 2016, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Center for Open Data Enterprise co-hosted the fourth 2016 Open Data Roundtable: Open Data for Public-Private Collaboration. The Roundtable gathered participants from federal agencies, academia, the private sector, and nonprofit organizations to formulate views and suggestions for greater public-private collaboration in the open-data ecosystem.

Jeremy J. Roberts, Green Button Alliance, general manager, presented an overview of the Alliance, discussed the success of the Green Button public-to-private transition, and educated attendees on the benefits derived by enabling consumers to have open and easy access to their own electricity-, natural gas-, and water-usage data.
2016-06-15 White House Speech - Jeremy J. Roberts
(image: Center for Open Data Enterprise, used with permission)

2016-06 Member News

Solar Analytics, based in Oakland, California (with headquarters in Redfern, Sydney, Australia), are innovators of intelligent solar-monitoring software that enables users to achieve maximum performance and value from their solar energy systems. Solar Analytics' Solar Smart Monitor is a unique solution for solar owners, as it monitors real-time solar production (live 5-second data) against calculated expected performance based on local weather conditions, pulls in real-time energy consumption data, and provides recommended actions when the PV system is under-performing. For solar installers and energy retailers, the Solar Smart Monitor provides opportunity to generate additional sales with accurate battery recommendations for customers, in-built refer-a-friend and a pre-solar quote kit. In Australia, Solar Analytics partners with AGL─one of Australia's leading integrated energy companies─and is actively seeking an energy partner in the U.S.

Solar Analytics is exhibiting at the Seventh Annual Clean Energy Ministerial in the Start-ups and Solutions Showcase, June 1-2, in San Francisco, California.
Solar Anlytics

How will your organization react to energy sector transformation? MaRS Discovery District's Advanced Energy Centre offers a new kind of collaborative workshop in the form of a room-sized business strategy board game: Newtonian Shift provides energy players with the opportunity to experience accelerated, multi-year transformation of the energy sector in less than a day. Participants will uncover hidden biases, gain an understanding of the perspectives of other energy sector stakeholders, learn the importance of collaboration and begin testing new approaches to navigate change. Energy players in Europe and North America, including over 23 Ontario utilities, have successfully applied this experience to their own strategy development, to prepare for a transformed electricity sector.
AEC at MaRS DD

Green Button Significantly Simplifies Energy Reporting for Energy Managers

The Green Button UsagePoint metering capability allows energy managers to link multiple-meter energy usage with locations and identify individual buildings. Its Summary Billing schema enables utilities to provide billing consumption for energy units, as well as cost, in a manner that enables energy managers to easily capture it from multiple points serviced by a single energy-service provider or across multiple utilities; significantly simplifying energy reporting for multiple consumption points.

Green Button Enables Utilities to Provide More Data in a Standardized Format

The Green Button UsageSummary capability enables utilities to provide non-energy billing-statement information, including: Payments, Generation & Distribution charges, Third Party fees, Administrative adjustments, etc. It has been designed with the flexibility to support all utility billing categories. This allows Third Party applications to present customers with a finer-breakdown of their monthly energy usage.

Green Button Ensures Utilities and Third Parties Protect Customer Privacy

The Green Button standard requires that the energy-usage information data stream cannot contain any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and must be transmitted using a secure-transmission process; thus protecting the customer’s privacy and energy-usage information.

However, some energy-usage applications require access to a customer's location or multiple meter locations. To address this requirement, the OpenADE Task Force, a committee of the UCAIug, has defined a Green Button Retail Customer Schema that provides this information to enable utilities to protect customers’ PII while allowing them to meet regulators and Third Party non-energy information requirements. The Retail Customer Schema requires utilities to transmit the PII in a separate, secured transmission apart from the data stream used to transmit a customers energy-usage information and it requires the receiving application to logically connect the two, separate data streams. Additionally, the Retail Customer data stream transmission must be authorized by the utility’s customer.

The Green Button Standard Offers More Features & Functionality

The Green Button standard enables utility customers to easily access and share their electricity-, natural gas-, and water-usage information in a consistent format; while ensuring customer privacy and transmission security of energy information. Comma Separated Values (CSV) and Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) files fail to provide consistent formats, do not ensure privacy of customer information, are not required to ensure transmission security, and do not support complex data structures. The Green Button standard utilizes a combination of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Atom Syndication Format, which enables it to support complex data structures that allow for richer expression of data.

With Smart Meters or Without, Green Button Provides the Data

A common misunderstanding in the industry is that “smart meters are required for utilities to leverage the Green Button standard.”  That’s not true.

The flexible Green Button standard is designed to enable utilities to provide usage data regardless of their currently deployed metering system. Smart meters can simplify the energy usage retrieval process, however, Green Button enables utilities to report energy-usage information from whatever means it is collected and allows utilities to report energy-usage information in whatever interval the utility chooses. Although the Green Button standard mandates the presence of interval data it does not mandate the interval frequency.