Green Button initiative launched in U.S.


Aneesh Chopra,
U.S. Chief
Technology Officer
Santa Clara, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 19, 2012 – The Green Button and other initiatives to enable consumers to gain easy access to their energy usage data have been launched by U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and California utilities in Silicon Valley.

The Green Button is an initiative that was floated by Chopra back in September 2011 at GridWeek, to enable consumers to download their detailed usage information in an easy to understand, standardized format with one click on a button.

Initially the Green Button is being offered by Pacific Gas & Electric (PGE) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). During the year it should also become available from Southern California Edison, Glendale Power & Light, Oncor, Pepco Holdings Inc, as well as other utilities across the country. Together these utilities serve over 17 million households.

“Green Button marks the beginning of a new era of consumer control over energy use, and local empowerment to cut waste and save money,” said Chopra, who also serves as associate director of Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “With the benefits of open data standards, app developers and other innovators can apply their creativity to bring the smart grid to life for families – not only in California but in communities all across the nation.”

The Green Button is modeled on an earlier Blue Button initiative, which was introduced to enable Americans to access their personal healthcare data.

In the case of SDG&E, for example, the Green Button “will provide up to 13 months of past energy consumption data instantly exported into customer- and computer-friendly standard formats.”

Other new initiatives that were launched include the AT&T San Diego Apps Challenge, in which software developers are challenged to use city and partner data – including Green Button data – to create applications that enhance public services and improve quality of life for San Diegans.

Several private sector vendors have introduced new “Upload Your Green Button Data Here” websites and applications aimed to help consumers track and manage their energy use.

The North American Energy Standards Board, which developed the data standard on which the Green Button is based, also will make available a “startup kit” to help app developers, students, and others take full advantage of the Green Button.

The Green Button is expected to lead to a number of innovative online energy saving offerings, as well as a new generation of interactive thermostats and virtual energy audits that will recommend energy efficiency retrofit improvements for homes and businesses, according to the White House statement.