Green Button Alliance - Happenings (Blog)

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.

2016-04 Member News

Cielo WiGle Inc., based in Redmond, Washington, launched its initial range of plug and play smart home products including smart air conditioner controllers for ductless ACs and smart outlets for home appliances that can be controlled and managed through the Cielo iOS, Android and web-based applications, at the Internet of Things Expo (IOTX) on March 29-31 in Dubai, UAE. Cielo's innovative mobile applications enable homeowners to access and control their homes through state of the art smart devices developed by Cielo. The company aims to launch its smart light adapter and $Meter application later this year. $Meter intends to augment utility-provided Green Button energy usage and billing data with real-time Cielo smart device consumption information and make it available in the Cielo Cloud. Homeowners will be able to easily access and control each watt of energy consumed by their smart home from anywhere in the world. Follow Cielo on Twitter: @CieloWiGle.

WattzOn provides web and mobile based solutions that enable people and communities across the U.S. to capture utility data and perform analytics allowing them to save energy and money. WattzOn's cloud-based platform provides automated access to electricity and gas utility data nationwide, serving solar companies, the connected home market, and community programs. Community program participants save $15 to $20 per month (vs. control groups) and based on this consistent track record, WattzOn now offers a guaranteed savings program. In the solar market, WattzOn's tools accelerate residential sales and increase sales closure rates. In the connected home market, WattzOn's tools enable the thermostat to become the entry point for energy savings throughout the house and for WattzOn's partners to offer personalized, engaging, and useful experiences for their customers.

Two Green Button Alliance members, Energyworx and Silver Spring Networks, were recently identified among a select group of vendors as key innovators in the Internet of Things (IoT) Utility market by a leading market research firm MarketsandMarkets (M&M). The report notes the global IoT Utility market has been estimated at USD 4.63 Billion in 2015 and is expected to grow at a yearly rate of 20% to reach USD 11.73 Billion by 2020. Don't miss Silver Spring Networks at Internet of Things World, May 10-12, in Santa Clara, California and see Energyworx at Grid Edge World Forum, June 21-23 in San Jose, California.

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

2016-03 Member News

Chai Energy's mobile app for iOS collects Green Button energy usage data directly from a customer's utility and informs them of how much electricity they're using, how much it'll cost, and provides a full range of personalized energy conservation and efficiency tips. Chai Energy recently announced the Chai Solar feature that analyzes a customer's energy usage and local weather patterns to determine if installing solar panels will save customers additional money. Chai users can also upgrade to the Chai Energy Pro, an energy gateway that collects real-time utility data from a user's smart meter. Chai recently opened a public pilot program in California.

UtilityAPI, a enterprise software company that provides solar, storage, and energy management professionals with simple access to energy usage data, has adopted the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Program. DataGuard, a voluntary code of conduct, establishes a framework for common practices that protect the access, use, and sharing of customer data; and provides residential and commercial consumers with assurance their energy data are being protected and treated responsibly. UtilityAPI and the Green Button Alliance are proud supporters of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's (MassCEC) 5th Annual Boston Cleanweb Hackathon to be held April 1-3, 2016.

WattzOn, based in Mountain View, California, provides utility data connections, energy analytics, and web and mobile tools that enable people and communities across the U.S.─in all 50 states─to save energy and money. WattzOn's cloud-based brand-customizable platform provides automated access to utility data for more than 200 electric and gas utilities nationwide, helping communities to serve their residents and business partners to provide a single user experience in multiple locations. WattzOn is an early adopter of the Department of Energy's (DOE) DataGuard Energy Data Privacy Protection Program.

2016-02 Member News

Last month, Green Button Alliance founding member PG&E made its Share My Data 2.0 available to its customers. Share My Data 2.0 is a Green Button Connect My Data implementation that enables PG&E customers to easily share their electric and gas usage and billing data with authorized third party vendors via an API on an on-going basis. Share My Data empowers customers by raising awareness of energy usage and encourages companies to develop new, innovative customer-focused applications. To find out more, please visit www.pge.com/ShareMyData or email sharemydata@pge.com.

The Green Button Alliance is proud to welcome the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) as an Affiliate Member. The SGCC is a nonprofit organization that works to learn the wants and needs of energy consumers in the United States, encourage the collaborative sharing of best practices in consumer engagement among industry stakeholders, and educate the public about the benefits of the smart grid. The Green Button Alliance has also joined the SGCC as an Affiliate Member. As a member of the SGCC, the Green Button Alliance will work to further educate smart-grid consumers about the full capabilities and benefits of Green Button energy usage data.

Green Button Alliance member Energyworx has been recognized in Gartner's Magic Quadrant for Meter Data Management for the second year in a row. Energyworx provides a new way of offering MDM—a pure-play and disruptive, cloud-based Software-as-a-Service for the energy and utility sector. Energyworx uses grid data from meters and other sources to power new use cases such as the Data Hub, which centralizes access to grid and meter data, enabling third parties to connect and offer new services to utility customers.

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

2016-01 Member News

The Green Button Alliance welcomes new member the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). Jonathan Booe, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of NAESB will serve on the Green Button Alliance's board of directors. The Green Button Download My Data (DMD) and Connect My Data (CMD) standards are based on NAESB's Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) standard (REQ. 21). The GBA's executive and technical staff is working closely with NAESB to publish the next version of the standard.

The Green Button Alliance welcomes the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), a leading international organization that promotes advanced technologies in homes and buildings as an Affiliate Member. In a reciprocal membership agreement, the GBA has also joined CABA. As a member of CABA, the GBA will work to promote the adoption of the Green Button standard in integrated home systems and the building automation industry.

UtilityAPI, an enterprise software company that provides solar, storage and energy management professionals with simple access to energy usage data, has been selected to receive a $760,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative. UtilityAPI will use the capital to build more data connections to utilities and further expand the geographical footprint of the company's API service.

On November 16th, at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator's (LACI) new La Kretz Innovation Center, representatives from green technology companies, including Chai Energy's CTO Ka Suen, were part of a roundtable discussion with Vice President Joe Biden and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. The group discussed building a more sustainable future, and Suen noted how Chai Energy empowers customers to save energy: “Here at Chai Energy we are trying to change how people view their electricity bills, what we provide is a real-time data stream that homeowners can directly access on their phone anytime, anywhere and view exactly how much energy they are using and when they are using it,” said Suen.

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

U.S. Department of Commerce presents Silver Medal awards for leadership in the White House Green Button initiative

In September, the U.S. Department of Commerce presented Martin J. Burns, John A. Teeter, and David A. Wollman of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program at NIST, with the Silver Medal award for leadership in the White House Green Button initiative, giving consumers the vital information they need to manage their own energy usage. Working closely with industry and other agencies, the team led the development of the technology foundation for Green Button, including standards, testing and technical support for implementers. The GBA congratulates them on this well-deserved recognition, and thanks them for their continued work on the Green Button initiative.
David A. Wollman, NIST (center); Bruce Andrews, Dept. of Commerce (left);  Dr. Willie May, NIST (right)

2015-11 Member News

The Advanced Energy Centre (AEC) at MaRS Discovery District (MaRSDD) announced it has joined the Green Button Alliance and Sasha Sud, senior manager, Smart Grid & Energy Data, has been elected to GBA's Board of Directors. The AEC, MaRSDD, and the Ministry of Energy have actively been facilitating the adoption of Green Button standards in Ontario and have supported the creation of 41 customer-facing applications. The AEC will provide strategic insights to GBA as we work to expand the Green Button ecosystem internationally.

Chai Energy provides an innovative new mobile app that collects Green Button energy data and shows users how much energy they use, its costs, offers customized energy savings tips, and alerts users when additional opportunities for savings emerge--it even analyzes energy use and local weather to see if solar is an option. The Chai Energy app can be paired with a customized solar system from Solplicity to help users become even more energy-efficient.

The Enel Group announced that it is the first European utility to join the Green Button Alliance, and Livio Gallo, Enel's Head of Global Infrastructure and Networks was elected to GBA's Board of Directors. Enel will make Green Button Download My Data and Green Button Connect My Data available to selected customers in Italy via Enel's Energy Management System (EMS).

Energyworx exhibited at European Utility Week 2015 this week from November 3-5 in Vienna. The company presented four of its most-popular use cases in the exhibition hall: Meter Data Management, Social Energy, The Solar Connected Home, and Energy Balancing for Smart Grids. See the full program here. Congratulations to the Energyworx team on a great event!

UtilityAPI is an enterprise software company that provides solar, storage and energy management professionals with simple access to energy usage data. UtilityAPI has also worked with utilities to implement Green Button standards and also recently announced compatibility with EnergyToolbase, a leading software platform that leverages Green Button energy data for third-party cost analysis of Solar PV and advanced energy storage projects. UtilityAPI CEO, Elena Lucas, recently presented at the White House about the company's experience with the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) SunShot Catalyst program.

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.

2015-10 Member News

Chai Energy launched its mobile app that shows customers their energy use in real-time, includes a new Demand Response (DR) feature that notifies users of a DR event in their area, provides customized energy-saving tips, and estimates how much users will save on their bill and receive in DR incentives--it can even tell if solar energy is an option for them! Chai Energy's mobile app is now available in SCE, SDG&E and PG&E service territories.

Energyworx offers a big-data aggregation and analytics cloud-software service for the energy and utilities industry. I t's powerful platform which supports open standards including Green Button, was stress tested on the Google Cloud Platform, and was proven to scale to handle millions of meters and billions of values! Register now to attend Energyworx' Webinar on Sept. 30th: "Enabling the Energy Evolution, Changing the Way the Energy Sector Understands Data Through Real Time Insights".

In August, Alliance founding member London Hydro formalized its partnership with MaRS Advanced Energy Centre (AEC)—one of the newest members of GBA—to help advance the Green Button platform with utilities and customers.

UtilityAPI, a winner of DOE's SunShot Catalyst Demo Day, is a software service provider that downloads bill and interval data for solar and energy efficiency companies, and also offers a secure hosting service for utilities. UtilityAPI's hosted service provides compatibility with various Green Button utility interface implementations and it is currently available at PG&E and SDG&E.