Today, California’s three big utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric — formally launched their Green Buttons. Not to be out done, we are announcing our support of the Green Button standard too. Beginning today, our customers can upload data in the Green Button file format to Genability via both our APIs and our Explorer Web App. With this capability our customers (3rd parties and utilities alike) can use Green Button data to drive cost calculations, run what-if scenarios, share data, and for all the other capabilities we have available.
What is the Green Button?
Modeled on the Blue Button Initiative in healthcare and similarly promoted by the office of the US CTO Aneesh Chopra, the Green Button Initiative asks utilities to make customer usage and cost data available for download at the click of a button. By logging on to your utility website and clicking the button, you can download a file that contains information about the electricity you are using and (if the utility supports it) the cost of that electricity. The file is in an industry standard format that is easy for machines (not humans) to read. This file contains your electricity profile and is a way for you, the consumer, to share that with 3rd parties of your choice. The idea is that a whole host of apps can use this data to tell you more about your energy choices. How much do you spend? Is solar power right for you? What rate plan options are available to you?
Genability supports the Green Button
That’s where Genability comes in. We are proud to announce that Genability Explorer and Genability APIs both support Green Button data formats. Now, our customers can take usage data that their customers have shared with them, and in seconds get a detailed picture of their energy profile. Via our Storage API, they can store, retrieve, analyse and share it. They can use it to run cost calculations, to understand tariff options, to model out efficiency, generation, storage and demand management activities, and much more.
- A solar company could use it to baseline a customer’s existing costs and demonstrate the solar system’s ROI
- An energy broker can get a feel for past usage and costs to prepare a quicker bid
- An efficiency website can report with more accuracy past usage, and tailor recommendations that suit that customer’s specific circumstances
- A social game can pit you against your friends – who is energy mayor?
What could you do with detailed usage and cost data for your customers?
The future is green
Genability sees the ESPI standard adoption as a huge boon for solving our energy challenges. If it becomes widely available, energy solution companies and professionals can all shift focus from data aquisition to data action. The Green Button is the first step; it is more of a catalyst to innovation rather than the full solution. But many of our customers and a cadre of app developers (such as the hackers at this weekend’s CleanWeb Hackathon in NYC) see real value right now. And this is only the beginning.