The White House driven Green Button initiative that launched last month in California is now expanding to other utilities across the country, including Pepco in the Washington D.C. area, according to a recent article by Jeff St. John on GreenTech Media. Supported by smart meter hardware and software developer Aclara, the Green Button will also soon be available to customers of up to 20 of Aclara’s other utility partners, including Avista, Wisconsin Public Service, DTE Energy, Dominion Power and Duke Energy.
“Beyond Pepco, California’s big three utilities and Texas’ Oncor and CenterPoint have been the first to jump on the green button bandwagon, launched in September by Chopra’s Office of Science and Technology Policy,” writes Jeff St. John. “Chopra challenged utilities to agree on a standard format for sharing customers’ energy data, so customers can download, analyze, and ship it to third parties of their choosing, no matter what state they’re in.”
One of the first third party platforms to integrate with Green Button data is Simple Energy, which already works to support customers of California’s big three utilities as well as Oncor and CenterPoint through the Smart Meter Texas program. As the article explains, “Once the data’s available, startups like Simple Energy and others can ask customers for permission to look at it, analyze it, and present it back to them in new and innovative ways.”
As Green Button data becomes more widely available to customers across the country, it is exciting to think about the applications that will be available to help people better understand and manage their own energy use. Simple Energy makes the information social, fun and simple by translating it into points that can be easily compared with your friends and neighbors online, motivating people to improve their scores and compete to save energy. Studies have shown that this type of social engagement works well to motivate customers who may be less concerned about cost savings.
Thanks to Aneesh Chopra and others who have worked to make the Green Button possible, and best wishes to everyone working to save more energy!