Frequently Asked Questions

The GBA staff and members of the Green Button Alliance often get asked about the GBA's mission, the value of Green Button data, and a host of other questions. Below is a list of some of the most-frequently asked questions; however, please contact us for any additional questions.  


The Green Button initiative is an industry-led effort to respond to a White House call-to-action to provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format.  The Green Button now also supports Natural Gas- and Water-use data in-addition to Electricity.

Green Button platforms are where energy information is found—whether hosted at a utility, an aggregator, or perhaps even from the software that interfaces to your solar array.

Check with your electricity, natural gas, or water utility to see if they have implemented the Green Button data-download or data-connect sharing methods.

Yes, natural-gas usage and water usage can also be obtained via the Green Button standard, if your utility supports them.

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 Green Button solutions available to everyone.

The Green Button effort was created with the support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), the Utility Communications Architecture International Users Group (UCAIug), and the White House.

The North American Energy Standards Board’s Energy Services Provider Interface (NAESB ESPI standard) serves as the basis for Green Button tech­nology by providing a model for business practices, use cases, and an XML schema for the standard.

The answer is twofold:  Awareness & Mitigation

Awareness:

To enable end-users (consumers of electricity, natural gas, and water) to change behav­iors assoc­iated with usage, those end-users must be aware of their use and their patterns of use.  To do that, they need access to their usage data.  Once they have access, they can take action to reduce their overall usage; deter­mine if solar might be right for them; allow companies and apps to assist in under­standing where improve­ments (e.g., insulation, UV glazing, new appliances, LED lighting, low-flow showerheads) may be able to help them; and even be able to save money where time-of-use (TOU) pricing for elec­tricity provides incen­tives for off-peak shifting of energy consump­tion.

Mitigation:

Aside from the end-users’ benefits, there may be societal and environ­mental benefits to these reduc­tions and peak-shaving actions, where climate-change mitiga­tion starts from measuring one’s impact in order to begin making those changes—whether manually or by automa­tion. Enough collec­tive shifting of use from peak hours of the day may enable a utility to avoid the use of diesel generators to make up the difference.  That may reduce costs for the utility and reduce charges to the end users—all while benefiting the environ­ment.

Take a look at our Green Button Connect My Data page to learn more about the benefits of Green Button CMD to utilities and utility customers.

Green Button CMD

The Green Button Alliance (GBA) is a non-profit organiz­ation, formed in North Carolina, USA, as a 501(c)(3) corp­oration in 2015, to foster the develop­ment, compliance, and wide­spread adoption of the Green Button standard.

It is the single, definitive go-to-place for all things related to the Green Button initiative—from cert­ification of implementa­tions to marketing and education.

More About the Green Button

Applications, or “apps,” are available from multiple vendors to help homeowners, renters, business owners, and others reach their goals—whether the goal is to install solar, go “net-zero,” shave peak costs in regions with time-of-use pricing, reduce environmental footprints, or simply to understand how one property in a portfolio compares to another.

There are many companies providing apps.
Look to the Green Button Alliance membership for solutions.

Button Colors

Aren’t there other button colors out there? How do they relate to Green Button?

We get his question often, so here’s the quick answer:

The Blue Button was first to “let 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)