May 2017

Chairman's View |

Syed Mir, Chairman
While the Green Button data standard was developed in the United States, it is now recognized globally as the energy industry's data-usage standard for securely accessing and sharing home and building energy-consumption information. The Green Button standard enables utilities to provide customers with three types of usage data:   electricity, natural gas, and water. By making customers' data available via simple and secure methods, utilities and service providers better serve their customers; meet the rapidly growing market demand for data; assure customer privacy; meet regulatory requirements; and provide data for energy-efficiency and public-purpose programs.
 
As those of us in the Northern hemisphere head toward the sunnier months of the year, we are reminded of the numerous benefits Green Button provides for the solar industry, including the ability to quickly obtain high -resolution interval-meter and billing data; model and accurately assess optimum solar system size; monitor existing solar system installations for system performance; and much more. 
 
This month we feature Energy Toolbase in the "Member Spotlight."  In less than three years, Energy Toolbase's software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform has become a leading solution for accurately, objectively, and transparently analyzing solar and distributed energy resource (DER) projects.  Read more about Energy Toolbase, below. In addition to the solar industry, Green Button data also provide highly sought-after benefits to the real-estate industry and to commercial-building managers. 
 
Like the standard itself, the Green Button Alliance is also global and benefits many industry segments. Join us as we grow the Green Button ecosystem and bring the benefits of the industries' energy- and water-usage data standard to the worldwide market.

Syed Mir, Chairman
Member Spotlight | 
Energy Toolbase

Energy Toolbase (ETB) is an industry-leading software platform for modeling and proposing the economics of solar and energy storage projects. The company's  software-as-a-service product is used by distributed energy organizations nationwide to accurately, objectively, and transparently analyze their projects. Since launching less than three years ago, Energy Toolbase has rapidly grown and now serves over a thousand companies, including residential and commercial installers, developers, energy consultants, policy organizations, and utilities.
 
Energy Toolbase and Green Button Data
Energy Toolbase specializes in 'utility rate' and 'avoided cost' analysis, which often begins with using a Green Button Data file to reconstruct a customer's utility bill. Having granular, interval meter data enables developers to perform the most-detailed level of analysis possible for their customer. This allows ETB users to maximize the dollar savings and payback economics for their customer.
Energy Toolbase Demand Profile
Many sophisticated distributed energy (DER) developers use Energy Toolbase to perform complex and layered analysis. Granular data can be leveraged for many types of advanced use-cases, like optimizing the solar or energy storage system size based on a customer's unique load profile and utility rate-switching options, determining exported energy in new Net Energy Metering (NEM 2.0) scenarios, or ethically simulating the reduction of demand charges from solar photovoltaics.
"We are huge evangelists of the Green Button Data standard," said Adam Gerza, COO for Energy Toolbase. "Having Green Button Data is a prerequisite to accurately estimate dollar savings for many types of projects. It's imperative for the growth of distributed energy resources that utilities and stakeholders continue to adopt and advance the Green Button Data standard."
 
Looking Forward
Energy Toolbase recently launched an integration with fellow Green Button Alliance member UtilityAPI which enables users to instantly import billing and usage data between both applications. The companies co-hosted a webinar to demonstrate their new integration, entitled: The New Era of DER Project Development: Leveraging Green Button Data to Analyze Solar + Storage, TOU Rates & NEM 2.0 Scenarios.
 
The next big software update for Energy Toolbase is scheduled for May, when the company plans to release a fully revamped energy storage module. ETB is planning to unveil their new release at the California Solar Power Expo on 1-2 May in San Diego. ETB will also be hosting a training session on 2 May at 10:30am: "The New Era of DER Project Development." To learn more about Energy Toolbase, see a product demo, or sign up for a free trial, visit www.energytoolbase.com. Follow Energy Toolbase on LinkedIn, on Twitter @EnergyToolbase, and on Facebook.
Member News |
Southern California Edison (SCE) has delivered electricity to Southern and Central California for more than 125 years and is one of the nation's largest utilities. SCE was one of the first utilities in the U.S. to make Green Button data available with the launch of its Green Button program in 2013. SCE's Green Button  
Download My Data  offering enables its customers to securely download their own interval usage data directly to their computer from SCE's website. In 2015, SCE launched its  Green Button   Connect My Data   program which gives customers   the ability to automate the secure transfer of their own energy usage data to authorized third-parties, based on opt-in customer consent and control.   In 2016, SCE enhanced its  Connect My Data offering to include Billing, Meter, and Program Participation related data. To date, SCE has partnered with 13 third parties with approximately 11 additional vendors in process of testing. SCE's registered third-party vendors include demand-response providers, energy-management companies, solar companies, and others. SCE is proud to be a founding member of the Green Button Alliance and continues to promote its Green Button program among its customers and their designated business agents.
London Hydro's Customer Service Excellence Award
Top-performing electricity utilities from across Ontario, Canada, were honored at the industry's premier Awards Gala, hosted by the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA), on 27 March 2017. London Hydro, along with Festival Hydro and Whitby Hydro, received the Customer Service Excellence award for collaborating to enhance the utilities' online customer-engagement solutions including the launch of their Green Button platforms. The utilities successfully reduced their costs while providing customers with more service options online. London Hydro was also recognized with the Conservation Leadership Award at the event.

In the headlines...
Green Button Alliance board member, Utility API's Elena Lucas,  was named to the Grist 50 List for " bringing energy data into the light.

Green Button Alliance founding member UL's well-done new article: " Green Button Alliance to Deliver Benefits for Energy Service Providers and Customers."

Green Button Alliance member Solar Analytics was recently featured in One Step Off the Grid: " Solar Analytics to Launch "Game Changing" Energy Management System."

Aurora Solar's new blog post:  " The Value of Green Button Data for Solar Customers. "
Tech Brief |   Green Button Data Format: XML
The Green Button standard enables utility customers to easily access and share their electricity-, natural gas-, and water-usage information in a consistent format-while ensuring customer privacy and the secure transmission of information. The Green Button data format is a combination of Extensible Markup Language (XML) delivered inside the Atom Syndication Format. This combination is what enables accuracy and quality; support for complex data structures; the flexibility for future enhancements; and easy, secure streaming of information over the Internet.
Although usage data are offered by some utilities in alternate formats - like Excel (XLS, XLSX) files, Comma Separated Values (CSV) files, or via machine-to-machine Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) - Green Button data are standardized and only in XML. Other formats are proprietary or inconsistent, do not always support complex data structures, and do not ensure privacy of customer information and security of transmission as part of their definition. If downloading data in a format other than the Green Button data format (XML), such as in an Excel or CSV format, care must be taken to remove any personally identifiable information that may be present before sharing data with others.
Events & Activities | 
Kevin Bricknell, ComEd educating on Green Button
The Green Button Alliance was a supporter of the 2nd Annual Grid Modernization Forum held on  3-5 April 2017 in Chicago.  Alliance members Mimi Zhang of Silver Spring Networks  and Kevin Bricknell of  Exelon Corporation's Commonwealth Edison (ComEd)  subsidiary,  participated in the event.  Mimi Zhang joined speakers from DataCapable, Alliant Energy, and Open Energy Solutions on  the Session 3 panel: "IOT and Big Data Analytics for New Business Models and Operational Excellence." The value of interoperability, collaboration, and the future of the smart grid was also discussed.
GBA members Kevin Bricknell, Mimi Zhang
Kevin Bricknell of ComEd presented during Session 10: "Better Programs, Better Performance, with Customer and Grid Data Analytics." During the 20-minute talk, Bricknell educated the audience about new and innovative smart grid programs and pilots that are helping to create a utility of the future. He highlighted new customer programs including Green Button Connect My Data, which the utility is implementing to help its customers make informed decisions about managing their electricity consumption. 
Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd CEO, named ETS17 Thought Leader of Year
The Green Button Alliance was a promotional partner of the Energy Thought Summit (ETS17) held on 27-30 March 2017 in Austin, Texas. The event gathered many of the industry's top creative minds to design solutions to shape the energy transformation. GBA members Exelon, Energyworx, and the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) spoke at the event. A highlight of the event was ComEd CEO, Anne Pramaggiore's selection as the " 2017 ETS Thought Leader of the Year"  an award that honors an individual with an inventive, brave vision to inspire the global energy ecosystem. The GBA congratulates Anne Pramaggiore of ComEd on her award! 
Energyworx' Edwin Poot discusses data quality
Energyworx Founder and Chief Visionary Officer, Edwin Poot, spoke on the " Designing for Data" panel along with participants from Direct Energy and EDF Energy Services. Poot expertly addressed how the industry can get the most out of legacy systems and respond to data diversity challenges. Establishing a foundation of data quality is the key to success in advanced analytics and machine learning.  SGCC's  President and CEO, Patty Durand, moderated two panels at the event including "Customers-in-Charge - Redefining the Utility-Customer Relationship" and " Ready for Action - How Utilities Can Drive Value for their Customer. "
GBA member  Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO) held its 2017 RESO Spring Technology Summit: Orchestrating Collaboration & Innovation last week, 24-26 April, in Austin, Texas. The sold-out Tech Summit featured nearly three-dozen presenters and panelists covering more than two-dozen tech and real estate data standards-related topics. See developments from the event on Twitter using the hashtag #RESO17.
GBA member, Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), held the CABA Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum - the CABA Forum - 26-28 April, in Santa Clara, California. Speakers from Google, Honeywell, Intel, and Lucid joined the line-up and smart-building tours included visits to Google, Intel, CBRE, PARC - a Xerox company, and more. 
What's Next?
Green Button Alliance
All members are invited to attend the Green Button Global Marketing Committee meetings that take place the first Wednesday of each month.  The next meeting will be held 3 May at 12:00 noon PDT/3:00pm EDT.  For the complete listing of meetings in which the Green Button Alliance is participating, see our    teleconference and meeting calendar.
Calendar
For a listing of current and upcoming events, including the California Solar Power Expo (1-2 May), Energy Efficiency Global Forum (8-9 May), DOE's 2017 Better Buildings Summit (15-17 May), CS Week (22-26 May) and Grid Edge World Forum (27-29 June),  please visit the Green Button Alliance's  industry events calendar.
Kind regards,

Barry Haaser, Executive Director
Jeremy J. Roberts, General Manager
Donald F. Coffin, Technical Manager
Valdis Hellevik, PR Manager