Green Button Alliance - Happenings (Blog)

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.

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 [email protected].

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.