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If you are a consumer: Green Button provides you access to your energy use data in a common format that you could then choose to use in a growing number of applications. Energy usage information would tell you: how much electricity or energy you used every 15 minutes, every day, or every month depending on what your utility is able to make available. Check here to see if your utility already offers your energy usage information in the Green Button format. The Department of Energy also launched an online map that shows the progress utilities are making towards providing their customers access to their own energy data in consumer-friendly and computer-friendly formats. If your utility doesn't offer your energy data in the Green Button format, consider asking them to do so or sending them a link to some Green Button resources to learn more. You can also see which companies are developing applications or services for businesses and consumers using the Green Button data standard. There are a growing number of applications you can use today by uploading your Green Button data.

If you are a utility: Green Button provides you with a means to provide your customers Energy Usage Information in a standard and secure way. Green Button "Download my Data" capabilities are supported by a growing number of utility technology vendors. Green Button is also consistent with the best practices of privacy and security, since customers have to first authenticate themselves on a utility portal with a login and password before they see and download their own information. If they want, customers can share their own data, by independent choice and action, with those they trust.

Click here to see which other utilities are implementing the Green Button data standard and offering it to their customers and which companies are committing to provide Green Button functionality in their products and services for utilities. There are also a vast set of technical resources available online through the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel on the Green Button data standard, including the NAESB ESPI data standard upon which Green Button is based.

If you are a service or application provider: Green Button provides you with a means to provide your value added insights, recommendations, and controls for consumers using energy usage information that they supply to you. The Green Button data could include the following types of information:

  • hourly load profile for past billing period plus current period to date,
  • fifteen minute load profile for most recent 15 days,
  • daily load profile for past month or year,
  • monthly summary only data,
  • energy usage and energy demand readings,
  • gas, water usage profiles
  • yearly summary data with monthly parts.

With this type of powerful data being made available in a common XML format, many applications of this data could be envisioned and are being developed right now.

  • Insight: entrepreneur-created web portals analyze energy usage and provide actionable tips;
  • Heating and Cooling: customized heating and cooling activities for savings and comfort;
  • Education: community and student energy efficiency competitions;
  • Retrofits: improved decision-support tools to facilitate energy efficiency retrofits;
  • Verification: measurement of energy efficiency investments;
  • Real Estate: provide energy costs for tenants and/or new home purchasers; and
  • Solar: optimize the size and cost-effectiveness of rooftop solar panels.

There are also a vast set of technical resources available online through the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel on the Green Button data standard, including the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB) Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) software developer's kit. ESPI is the data standard upon which Green Button is based. Any xml parser can be used to analyze the data structures represented in xml according to the ESPI schemas. Look at the examples on this page that show how to analyze Green Button data and present them to users. Of course, your creativity will provide more dramatic results and presentations tuned to customer needs and understanding.

In addition, the Department of Energy launched an Apps for Energy contest to spur the invention of tools and services that will help consumers gain new insights, take action, and save on their utility bills. The contest complements a recently closed $8 million grant funding opportunity to help consumers use new smart-grid technologies to better manage their energy consumption.