Green Button

In November 2012, MaRS facilitated the launch of Ontario’s Green Button with the Ministry of Energy, enabling secure and private sharing of energy consumption data, facilitating greater visibility over energy usage, and introducing opportunities for conservation. The Green Button standard aims to enable and empower decision making in utility customers by providing easy and consistent access to their data.

The implementation of Green Button will ultimately make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow direct, consistent and standardized energy data sharing across all utilities in their service territories, allowing greater consistency in the market and acting as a catalyst for the growth and creation of businesses and solutions.

Collaborators

Ontario Ministry of Energy, London Hydro, Hydro One

The Challenge

Access to residential and commercial electricity meter data—and the ability to share that data with innovative applications, products, services, and solutions—can help Ontario households and businesses better understand and manage their electricity bills and conserve energy. Currently customers don’t have access to their electricity data in a user-friendly and computer-friendly format, preventing electricity saving potential to be unlocked.

The Green Button standard can solve that problem by providing customers with standardized, easy and secure access to electricity data. The Green Button standard is also extensible to gas and water meter data, where similar challenges are faced by customers around accessing and sharing their consumption data in a privacy enabled, secure and standardized format. The implementation of Green Button will ultimately make Ontario the first jurisdiction in Canada to allow direct, consistent and standardized energy data sharing across all utilities in their service territories, allowing greater consistency in the market and act as a catalyst for the growth and creation of businesses and solutions.

Convening Key Players

In November 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Energy and MaRS Discovery District established a working group of electricity and privacy stakeholders with the intention of implementing the Green Button standard in Ontario to provide electricity consumers with the ability to access and share their electricity consumption data in a safe, secure and consistent format. Since then, MaRS and the Ministry have organized several Green Button Working Group meetings to bring together members of industry, regulators, government and electricity local distribution companies (LDCs), to develop a plan to adapt and implement the Green Button standard in Ontario.

Similar efforts are underway to initiate conversations with key stakeholders around enabling access to gas data and potentially water data in the future.

Prototyping

In the electricity sector the implementation of Green Button in Ontario has been undertaken in two phases: Green Button Download My Data and Green Button Connect My Data .

Green Button Download My Data (GB DMD)

GB DMD allows electricity customers to access their electricity consumption information from their utility’s website. Currently over 60% of Ontarian households and small businesses have access to their data in the Green Button format. Based on user demand from the Commercial and Institutional sector, there is great interest to enable similar standardized access to electricity consumption data across Ontario and/or even North America.

Green Button Connect My Data (GB CMD)

GB CMD allows customers to automate the secure transfer of their own electricity consumption data to applications and solution providers based on customer consent and control that is managed through the Green Button Connect My Data API. Two pilots were initiated in late 2013 with Hydro One and London Hydro to test and implement the GB CMD with four solution providers. Lessons learned and best practices from these two pilots are being collected and will contribute to provide key recommendations for a wider rollout of Green Button in the Province and will also feed into the broader Green Button standard evolution process.

London Hydro is presently live in market with its pilot since mid-November 2014 with multiple applications/solutions available to consumers. The number of solutions continues to grow. Hydro One is wrapping up the testing and will go live in Q2 2015.

 

More information and resources on the Green Button roll out in Ontario.

For more on Green Button, check out the AEC blog.