Recently three major California utilities (Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison) have implemented Green Button on their websites, and many more are adopting this new open industry standard. Green Button marks the beginning of a new era of consumer control over energy use, and local empowerment to cut waste and save money.
But what is it? Basically, it allows the customer to login to their account and be able to click on the Green Button to download over a year’s worth of their detailed electricity usage. Here are a few ways this data can be used:
Insight – The opportunity to analyze this new data creates a ripe environment for innovation. Helping customers understand and manage their energy use, and even further, understand the environmental impacts of that usage, will be a breakthrough in the battle for sustainability.
Customization – With data specific to your household, it has the possibility of giving you a breakdown of your energy usage by appliance.
- Heating and Cooling: the ability to provide personalized suggestions for optimal savings and comfort
- Energy-Efficient Investments: the ability to calculate potential savings and payback for installing new energy-efficient retro-fits. Even give detailed information about the optimal size of solar panels for your house and your predicted return on investment for them.
- Time Data: Get a better understanding of optional time-of-use rate plans (now offered by many utilities) will affect their bills, and the best time of day to run certain appliances.
Green Button was inspired by the successful launch of a similar tool, called Blue Button that allows consumers to view their personal health data and print their personal health records for sharing with other doctors or others they trust. Today this service is available to 80 million Americans. Green Button has the potential to reach every American household and business.
This is another great product for consumers who are demanding more and more information, and a great opportunity for mobile applications to jump on.