Green Button advances in Ontario

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Ontario electricity distributors will be required to implement the Green Button Download My Data and Connect My Data.

The implementations, part of a new regulation that directs the utilities to implement the NAESB REQ.21 Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI) Standard, must be certified through the Green Button Alliance by November 1, 2023.

Green Button Download My Data provides utility customers with the ability to easily download their energy usage data. Green Button Connect My Data provides a standardised way for the customer to automate the transfer of the data to authorized third parties.

With these more informed usage and management of energy data is envisaged.

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The Green Button initiative was launched in the US in 2011 to provide energy customers with easy access to their energy usage information via a ‘green button’ on the websites of electric utilities.

Subsequently, it has become an industry-led effort, with the NAESB ESPI standard serving as the basis in defining a communication protocol for the exchange of retail customer energy usage information. The most recent version of the NAESB ESPI standard was published in January 2020 as part of Version 3.3 of the NAESB Retail Markets Quadrant Model Business Practices.

The Green Button was introduced to Ontario in 2012 with the support of the Ministry of Energy. Today, more than half of Ontario-based consumers, totalling over 3 million residences and businesses have access to their energy usage information.

With the new regulation, which comes into effect on November 1, more customers should gain access to the Green Button while the Green Button CMD will open the way for new energy services.

The development of the Green Button is undertaken by the Green Button Alliance (GBA), a non-profit organisation that also fosters compliance and its adoption.