Ontario’s New Energy Data Regulation Requires Utilities to Implement Green Button
Ontario’s New Energy Data Regulation Requires Utilities to Implement Green Button
Utilities’ Green Button Implementations to be Certified as Compliant by the Green Button Alliance
- Utilities provincewide to implement Green Button standards-based solutions, certified by the Green Button Alliance, by 01 November 2023. Removing the barriers to energy data access, the utilities’ Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) platforms will enable customers to digitally access their standardized energy data and choose to securely share their data with authorized third-parties and applications.
- Green Button CMD implementations will enable utilities to offer energy data -driven solutions that empower customers to make informed decisions about their energy usage, simplify energy management for property managers, and streamline energy consumption reporting required for commercial buildings, while ensuring customer data privacy.
October 28, 2021–The Green Button Alliance (GBA), which fosters the development, compliance, and widespread adoption of the industry’s Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) standard commends the Ontario Ministry of Energy for its leadership and dedication to empowering people and businesses in Ontario with digital access to their energy-consumption data and applauds Ontario’s government for its passage of Ontario Regulation 633/21: Energy Data. Ontario’s new energy data regulation, filed 02 September, requires electric and natural gas utilities across the province to implement Green Button Connect My Data solutions that adhere to the North American Energy Standards Board’s (NAESB) REQ.21 Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) version 3.3 standard (commonly known as the Green Button), by 01 November 2023. To ensure critical benefits of the Green Button standard are gained—including customer-data privacy and seamless data interoperability and scalability—the utility-provided Green Button implementations are required to be certified by the Green Button Alliance as compliant to the standards. Green Button energy data access solutions will empower Ontarians with detailed knowledge of their energy-usage patterns and will support energy-efficiency, cost-savings, deployment of clean energy solutions, and decarbonization in the province.
Enabled under Ontario’s Electricity Act, 1998, section 25.35.8: Energy Data, Regulation 633/21: Energy Data requires Ontario utilities to implement Green Button Connect My Data (CMD)and Download My Data (DMD) solutions that enable customers to easily obtain and share their data with authorized third-parties that can analyze the data to help them make informed energy-management decisions to reduce energy-use and costs. In support of the province’s electricity and natural gas sectors, the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) led a series of Green Button implementation task force meetings comprised of stakeholders, including members of the Green Button Alliance, and is developing Green Button implementation guidance based on the task force’s recommendations.
“Ontario is helping families and businesses save energy and save money with the push of a button,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “Ontario’s Green Button initiative will allow consumers to access their natural gas and hourly electricity consumption data through secure apps on their computer or smartphone and find customized tips on how to boost home energy efficiency and lower monthly bills.”
In addition to benefitting Ontario’s residential and business customers, access to Green Button solutions—that provide energy data in the machine-readable Green Button format—will simplify energy management for property managers. For building owners and operators, Green Button solutions can support energy-usage reporting required by Ontario Regulation 506/18: Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use, commonly known as the Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking (EWRB) initiative. For utilities, their Green Button CMD platforms will enable them to engage with their customers through new applications and services, and enable greater customer participation in Demand Response (DR), that utilize interval data. In addition, Green Button CMD platforms can provide a path forward for integrating customer-sited distributed energy resources (DERs) into the grid.
“The GBA commends Ontario on its leadership in setting-forth a policy that unlocks customer energy data and makes it secure and portable—laying the foundation for a connected and energy-efficient future for the province,” said Jeremy J. Roberts, Executive Director, Green Button Alliance. “Utility implementation-testing and Green Button Certification will ensure the utilities’ solutions are consistent and will enable everyone—residences, energy managers of buildings, and third-party service providers—to participate in a modern energy ecosystem.”
Green Button Solution Testing & Certification
Several utilities in Ontario already provide Green Button solutions to their customers. Extending the reach of Green Button solutions, Ontario’s energy data mandate applies to approximately 60 electric and natural gas utilities provincewide. The regulation, which goes into force 01 November 2021, directs the utilities to implement the NAESB’s REQ.21 ESPI Model Business Practices, version 3.3 standard, commonly known as the Green Button. This latest version of the standard, published 30 January 2020, should be purchased from NAESB prior to solution testing by the Green Button Alliance. GBA testing and Certification of compliance to the standard assures utilities they have implemented the standard correctly and the solution will provide data in an interoperable format; protect customer data privacy through secure transmission of data; and speed application on-boarding and scalable data-sharing implementations to market. Learn about the GBA’s Testing and Certification program.
“NAESB applauds Ontario’s government for unleashing digital access to standards-based energy data which is key for efficiently quantifying and managing energy consumption for multiple sectors,” said Cade Burks, Vice Chairman, Board of Directors, NAESB and Chief Digital Officer, Big Data Energy Services. “Utilities implementing customer-facing solutions that leverage NAESB’s ratified REQ.21 ESPI standard version 3.3, known as the Green Button standard—that are tested and certified by the Green Button Alliance—are assured of interoperable and scalable solutions that can flexibly meet a variety of current and future needs of energy users in the province.”
About Green Button Connect My Data (CMD)
Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) is the industry standard for accessing and securely sharing energy- and water-usage data. Green Button CMD allows utility customers to digitally access their electricity-, natural gas-, or water-usage data and choose to authorize secure transfers of their data to third-parties and applications; enabling users to gain additional insights into managing and conserving their resource consumption. For energy managers of properties, access to standardized Green Button energy data in the Green Button XML data format significantly streamlines energy-management and consumption reporting. Utilities can maximize their metering infrastructure by utilizing their Green Button CMD platform to offer a host of new energy-data –enabled services. Third-party developers using standardized Green Button technology can more-rapidly develop applications and services that work seamlessly with other Green Button implementations. To ensure utility-provided Green Button CMD solutions will comply to the current version of Green Button standard, the Green Button Alliance offers the Green Button Testing and Certification Program. The Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) standard for Green Button is published by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).
About Green Button Download My Data (DMD)
Green Button Download My Data (DMD) is the industry standard for enabling utility customers (homeowners, business owners, property managers, and commercial and industrial energy managers) to manually download their electricity-, natural gas-, or water-usage data from their utility’s website in Green Button XML format with the simple selection of the data and a click of a virtual green button. Utility customers can access their historical and current usage data, analyze trends, and make informed resource-management choices; or, they can provide their files to other entities of their choosing for further assistance. Utilities offering Green Button DMD solutions can examine the structure of their DMD files for accuracy to the standard at the GBA’s Download My Data Validator for free before applying for Green Button Certified DMD testing.
About the Green Button Alliance
The Green Button Alliance (GBA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to foster the development, compliance, and global adoption of compliant Green Button implementations. The GBA is comprised of leading utilities, governmental departments and agencies, solution providers, and affiliated organizations that collaborate to advance the Green Button initiative of enabling energy consumers around the world to access and share their energy- and water-usage data for managing their consumption. The GBA educates the market on the broad benefits of the Green Button standard, encourages standards-based application development, and administers the Green Button Testing and Certification Program to accelerate the delivery of standardized Green Button technologies to energy consumers. For more information, or to join the Green Button Alliance, please visit http://www.greenbuttonalliance.org.
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