History of Green Button

Industry Call-to-Action

Building upon policy objectives outlined in the Obama Administration’s “A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future1, in September 2011, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Aneesh Chopra, challenged2 the smart grid sector to develop a “Green Button” to provide customers with easy access to their own detailed energy usage information and make it available for download in a simple, common format.  Consumers would then be able to make more-informed decisions about their energy use—and when coupled with opportunities to take action, be empowered to manage their own energy consumption.

The Green Button initiative was created with the support of The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) within the Executive Office of the President, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and the (NIST) of the U.S Department of Commerce.  In late fall, 2011, the initial North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) standard, upon which the Green Button Download My Data® (DMD) and Green Button Connect My Data® (CMD) standards are based, was ratified. 

In 2012, California investor-owned utilities—Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE)—were the first in the U.S. to offer Green Button Download My Data (DMD) implementations on their websites, enabling home owners and property managers to download their energy-usage data in an industry-standard XML data format.

Today, a over a decade later, many utilities and energy service providers are providing, or planning to provide energy users—including residential, business, commercial, and industrial customers—with their own energy-usage information in the industry-standard Green Button format.


International Expansion

In Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and MaRS Discovery District quickly followed suit and in 2012 began to advance the Green Button initiative in Ontario.  Green Button Alliance founding member London Hydro and other utilities adopted the Green Button DMD standard for residential and small-business customers3, enabling Canadians the access to their data using Green Button technology.4

In addition, Green Button Connect My Data implementations—which enable utility customers to authorize direct, secure transfer of their energy-usage data to third parties that can assist them in managing their energy consumption—is now available at nearly all utilities in Ontario and Nova Scotia.  In November, 2021, the Ontario government mandated utilities province-wide to provide Green Button standards-based Connect My Data and Download My Data solutions—tested and Certified by the Green Button Alliance as compliant to the Green Button standard—by November of 2023 to empower Ontarians with digital access to their usage data and with the ability to easily view and manage their consumption and lower costs.  The Ontario utilities met the challenge.


Industry Standard for Data Access & Sharing

In North America, electricity, natural gas, and water utilities leveraging Green Button standards are now providing new standards-based data-exchange implementations, third-party energy-management applications, and new Green Button data-enabled services; greatly benefiting customers who can now utilize their energy data to manage and reduce household and building energy consumption.  To date, there are hundreds of Green Button implementations, tools, services, and apps that have been developed.  


Historical Timeline of the Green Button Initiative

The technology of Green Button predates the Green Button Alliance.  Follow along to learn how we got to where we are today:

  • U.S. DOE “Apps for Energy”
  • Ontario Ministry of Energy Green Button “Call to Action”
  • California legislates Green Button utility-data sharing
  • Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) created
  • American Energy Data Challenge
  • Ontario Green Button Pilots
  • NAESB ESPI standard is enhanced
  • U.S. Presidential Memo to Federal Agencies regarding Green Button
  • First cloud-based Green Button platform created, in Ontario
  • New York’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” (NY REV) begins
  • Ontario’s Green Button Policy Workshops kickoff
  • Ontario Develops Business Cases for Green Button
  • Colorado Approves a 2020 roll-out of Green Button
  • Ontario Discusses adoption of Green Button province-wide
Green Button Certified CMDtesting program launched
The GBA is working on further enhancements to the standard, additional developer resources, new self-help tools, and so much more!  Join us to be a part of it all:


  1. Aneesh Chopra, Vivek Kundra, Phil Weiser, “A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future”,  June, 2011, Pg. 40, 41, 42: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/nstc-smart-grid-june2011.pdf
  2. Aneesh Chopra, “Modeling Green Energy Challenge After a Blue Button”, September 15, 2011: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2011/09/15/modeling-green-energy-challenge-after-blue-button
  3. May 2015, Green Button Ontario website
  4. July 14, 2015, “Connecting the Dots on Climate Data in Ontario”