Tech Brief | Green Button Data Format: XML

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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 the secure transmission of information. The Green Button data format is a combination of Extensible Markup Language (XML) delivered inside the Atom Syndication Format. This combination is what enables accuracy and quality; support for complex data structures; the flexibility for future enhancements; and easy, secure streaming of information over the Internet.

Although usage data are offered by some utilities in alternate formats - like Excel (XLS, XLSX) files, Comma Separated Values (CSV) files, or via machine-to-machine Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) - Green Button data are standardized and only in XML. Other formats are proprietary or inconsistent, do not always support complex data structures, and do not ensure privacy of customer information and security of transmission as part of their definition. If downloading data in a format other than the Green Button data format (XML), such as in an Excel or CSV format, care must be taken to remove any personally identifiable information that may be present before sharing data with others.