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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

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.

The 5th Annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), in partnership with Greentown Labs, hosted the 5th Annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon from April 1-3, 2016. The two-day technology challenge invited participants to compete to create user-friendly web and mobile applications designed to help consumers and businesses use energy and natural resources more efficiently. Cash and prizes were awarded to the winners.
Boston Clean Web Hackathon
The Green Button Alliance and member UtilityAPI were supporters of the event. UtilityAPI was a data sponsor for the event and was on-site to answer questions. The GBA and UtilityAPI congratulate the hackathon’s 80 participants for creating 11 energy efficiency applications in just 30 hours. EnergyBee, the hackathons first place winner, created an app that enables consumers to set and track energy use goals and spending, as well as compete against friends to save energy. EnergyBee used data provided by UtilityAPI.
EnergyBee Uses UtilityAPI

London Hydro first utility with Green Button Certification for electricity, natural gas, and water usage data

London Hydro announced it is the industry's first utility to complete the Green Button Alliance's Download My Data (DMD) Testing and Certification process for electricity, natural gas and water usage data. The utility will now be able to provide this information to its customers enabling them to easily access and efficiently manage their own resource consumption while opening opportunities for application vendors.

The Alliance's technical staff worked with London Hydro during the certification test preparation, and Alliance founding member UL, a global leader in testing and certification services, conducted the Green Button DMD certification of London Hydro's implementation. Utilities and energy service providers who have existing Green Button DMD implementations, or who are in the process of developing Green Button DMD offerings, can apply for Green Button DMD certification here.
London Hydro

Green Button Alliance technical manager Donald F. Coffin to serve on the NAESB REQ Executive Committee

The Green Button Alliance's technical manager, Donald F. Coffin, has been elected to serve on the North American Energy Standards Board's (NAESB) REQ Executive Committee. The Green Button Download My Data (DMD) and Connect My Data (CMD) certifications are derived from NAESB's REQ. 21 Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) standard. Coffin will impart his Green Button implementation expertise to enhance the NAESB ESPI standard to ensure Green Button data-compliance and interoperability.
NAESB

London Hydro is empowering its Ontario-based customers with access to their Green Button energy usage data

Read about how London Hydro is empowering its Ontario-based customers with access to their Green Button energy usage data and enabling them to manage their consumption with innovative applications such as Bidgely's HomeBeat in this recent London Free Press article: "Riding Herd on the Energy Hogs." For more information on London Hydro's Green Button initiative, and a complete listing of its third-party Connect My Data (CMD) applications, click here.

London Hydro

Green Button Certification and GB DaaS in a Rocky Mountain Institute article

The GBA administers a testing and certification program to make it easier for an energy provider to ensure its Green Button implementation complies to the Green Button standard, while also assuring developers they can write a single application that can work across many utilities. If your company is in the process of developing a Green Button Download My Data (DMD) solution to provide Green Button energy data to your customers, or already has a DMD implementation, you can apply for Green Button DMD Certification here.

For utilities interested in learning about how an open-platform-based utility service could increase revenues through a combination of service-provider and customer engagement, see the Rocky Mountain Institute's insightful article: "How Open Platforms with Demand Flexibility offer Utilities New Revenue Opportunities," which notes Green Button data as part of an open Data-as-a-Service platform.

GBA is now accepting applications for certification of Green Button Download My Data (DMD)

Green Button DMD Certifications

The GBA is now accepting applications for certification of Green Button Download My Data (DMD) implementations. If you are developing, or have already implemented, a DMD solution, you can apply for certification here.

Testing your DMD files takes only a few minutes and a "Green Button Certified DMD" logo on your DMD page assures customers and app developers that your solution provides consistent Green Button data and will interoperate with other certified Green Button products and services. Your DMD solution will also be listed on the GBA's Green Button Certified Solutions page on our forthcoming new website.

Want to help shape the future of the standard?

The Green Button standard is currently being enhanced and the GBA is on the forefront of the development. Please feel free to participate in our working group calls:

  • Weekly OpenADE Meetings: Open Automated Data Exchange (ADE) meetings are currently focused on defining specific implementation details of the Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) standard. Meetings take place every Tuesday from 3-4pm ET.
      
  • Monthly EnergyOS OpenESPI Meetings: Meetings take place the first Monday of each month at 12-1pm ET.

Meeting details for both working groups can be found here

For app developers looking for a great overview on how to leverage Green Button data for energy consumption apps, see ProgrammableWeb's excellent new article.