Green Button, building metering set for expansion in U.S.


Much of the focus on last week’s U.S. Presidential Memorandum on energy management has been on the new agency renewables targets – 10% by 2015 and 20% by 2020 – but there is much else in it that should lead to better energy management, including expansion of the Green Button initiative and building metering and submetering.

The Memorandum, which was signed by President Barack Obama, is aimed to contribute to the move towards a clean energy economy in the U.S., and to achieving national climate change goals.

Regarding building performance and energy management, agencies are required to install building energy meters and submeters, as well as water meters where it is cost effective and appropriate. Where feasible, the Green Button should be incorporated into reporting, data analytics and automation, and processes, in consultation with local utilities. Agencies should also consider participating in demand response programs where available.

In order to facilitate agency management of energy usage information in Green Button, within 120 days of the date of the memorandum a strategy to pilot Green Button at federal facilities should be prepared and initiated by the General Services Administration, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency. Then within 180 days of initiating the pilot, these bodies should issue guidance on the use of the Green Button. Within a year of the date of the memorandum, the Energy Star Portfolio Manager should be updated to facilitate the inclusion of building energy usage data using Green Button.

According to a White House blog on the Memorandum, the Green Button data standard should make it easier for building managers to use innovative analytical tools, apps and services related to energy usage, and help federal agencies to better manage their own energy consumption.

Today, 48 utilities and electricity suppliers serving more than 59 million homes and businesses have committed to enable their customers with Green Button access to help them save energy and shrink their bills. Of these, over 42 million household and business customers (reaching well over 100 million Americans) already have access to their Green Button energy data.

These new announcements will expand the adoption of the Green Button data standard and further enable households, businesses and federal agencies to use the most innovative apps and services to improve their energy management and achieve sustainability goals.

Among the latest Green Button commitments by U.S. utilities:

  • Consolidated Edison will expand availability to all its 3.3 million customers
  • National Grid will expand its 15,000 customer pilot to provide access to nearly all its 3.4 million customers
  • Xcel Energy will offer access to its 3.4 million customers
  • Ameren Illinois will offer access to its 1.2 million electric customers
  • Ameren Missouri will offer access to its 1.2 million electric customers
  • Portland General Electric will offer access to its 836,000 customers
  • San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric have begun implementing Green Button Connect My Data, an automated and secure way for customers to transfer their energy data to authorized apps and services.

By Jonathan Spencer Jones