June 2016

Chairman's View |

Syed Mir, Chairman
The energy industry is transforming and is actively investigating and selecting innovative technology platforms based on business and customer benefits, ease of integration and interoperability with their existing and planned smart grid investments, overall implementation costs, and time to market. Utilities; their customers; and industries like solar, real estate, and the Internet of Things (IoT); are also highly interested in analyzing and leveraging customer energy-usage information in a variety of ways. The Green Button Alliance believes Green Button will play a key role in the transformation of the energy industry.
 
The Green Button Alliance receives many enquiries from around the world regarding the capabilities of the standard, which are addressed by our technical staff. In this issue, our "Tech Corner" feature highlights the powerful, lesser-known, and newer capabilities of the flexible Green Button standard and clarifies some common misconceptions. Read below to gain a new understanding about Green Button data and smart meters, how Green Button implementations stack-up against existing technologies, and the powerful capabilities enabled by the Green Button Retail Customer Schema, UsageSummary, Summary Billing, and UsagePoint metering functionality. These features provide significant functionality to utilities, residential customers, commercial energy managers, and vendors. 
 
In addition, some may not be aware that the Green Button standard is designed to support all utility customer-usage data ─energy, natural gas, and water. The Green Button standard enables energy providers to offer access to energy-use data whether or not smart meters are in place; and similarly, smart water meters are not required for water utilities to provide Green Button water-usage data. Water utilities can deploy Green Button water-use platforms to enable their customers to access their usage data to better-understand how they can conserve this precious resource. And for vendors, just imagine the worldwide market opportunity for standardized Green Button water-conservation applications that work across all water utilities.
 
If your company is planning to provide customers with energy- or water-usage dataor has already developed solutions that address requirements for customer data accessthe Green Button Alliance can help you further. We look forward to working with you.

─  Syed Mir, Chairman
Welcome New Members! |
The Green Button Alliance is proud to welcome Solar Analytics as a new member.
Member News |
Solar Analytics, based in Oakland, California (with headquarters in Redfern, Sydney, Australia), are innovators of intelligent solar-monitoring software that enables users to achieve maximum performance and value from their solar energy systems. Solar Analytics' Solar Smart Monitor is a unique solution for solar owners, as it monitors real-time solar production (live 5-second data) against calculated expected performance based on local weather conditions, pulls in real-time energy consumption data, and provides recommended actions when the PV system is under-performing. For solar installers and energy retailers, the Solar Smart Monitor provides opportunity to generate additional sales with accurate battery recommendations for customers, in-built refer-a-friend and a pre-solar quote kit. In Australia, Solar Analytics partners with AGLone of Australia's leading integrated energy companiesand is actively seeking an energy partner in the U.S. Solar Analytics is exhibiting at the Seventh Annual Clean Energy Ministerial in the Start-ups and Solutions Showcase, June 1-2, in San Francisco, California.
How will your organization react to energy sector transformation? MaRS Discovery District's Advanced Energy Centre offers a new kind of collaborative workshop in the form of a room-sized business strategy board game . Newtonian Shift provides energy players with the opportunity to experience accelerated, multi-year transformation of the energy sector in less than a day. Participants will uncover hidden biases, gain an understanding of the perspectives of other energy sector stakeholders, learn the importance of collaboration and begin testing new approaches to navigate change. Energy players in Europe and North America, including over 23 Ontario utilities, have successfully applied this experience to their own strategy development, to prepare for a transformed electricity sector. If your organization is interested in learning how to host or play the Newtonian Shift, click here .
In the headlines...

See how Chai Energy's mobile app, which uses powerful analytics to process a utility customer's Green Button energy usage data, enables a customer to reduce his electric bills and delivers tips and recommendations for additional energy savings and incentives in this KTLA5 News "Money Smart" Segment.

Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) announced that their customers with smart meters will be able to leverage the utility's Green Button Connect My Data offering to authorize and share their energy-usage data with registered third-party companies that can help them identify ways they can reduce energy consumption and save money.
Tech Corner | 
With Smart Meters or Without, Green Button Provides the Data!
A common misunderstanding in the industry is that smart meters are required for utilities to leverage the Green Button standard. The flexible Green Button standard is designed to enable utilities to provide usage data regardless of their currently deployed metering system. Smart meters can simplify the energy usage retrieval process, however, Green Button enables utilities to report energy-usage information from whatever means it is collected and allows utilities to report energy-usage information in whatever interval the utility chooses. Although the Green Button standard mandates the presence of interval data it does not mandate the interval frequency.
 
The Green Button Standard Offers More Features & Functionality
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 transmission security of energy information. Comma Separated Values (CSV) and Electronic Data Exchange (EDI) files fail to provide consistent formats, do not ensure privacy of customer information, are not required to ensure transmission security, and do not support complex data structures.  The Green Button standard utilizes a combination of Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Atom Syndication Format, which enables it to support complex data structures that allow for richer expression of data.
 
Powerful Capabilities
Additionally, the Green Button standard offers powerful lesser-known capabilities that enable utilities to meet regulatory requirements, as well as new features that further-benefit utilities, customers, energy managers, and third-party vendors. Read below to learn about the Green Button Retail Customer Schema, UsageSummary, Summary Billing, and UsagePoint metering capabilities.
 
Ensures Utilities and Third Parties Protect Customer Privacy
The Green Button standard requires that the energy-usage information data stream cannot contain any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and must be transmitted using a secure-transmission process; thus protecting the customer's privacy and energy-usage information. 
 
However, some energy-usage applications require access to a customer's location or multiple meter locations.  To address this requirement, the OpenADE Task Force, a committee of the UCAIug, has defined a Green Button Retail Customer Schema that provides this information to enable utilities to protect customers' PII while allowing them to meet regulators' and Third Party non-energy information requirements. The Retail Customer Schema requires utilities to transmit the PII in a separate, secured transmission apart from the data stream used to transmit a customer's energy-usage information and it requires the receiving application to logically connect the two, separate data streams.  Additionally, the Retail Customer data stream transmission must be authorized by the utility's customer.
 
Enables Utilities to Provide More Data in a Standardized Format
The Green Button UsageSummary capability enables utilities to provide non-energy billing-statement information, including: Payments, Generation & Distribution charges, Third Party fees, Administrative adjustments, etc.  It has been designed with the flexibility to support all utility billing categories. This allows Third Party applications to present customers with a finer-breakdown of their monthly energy usage.
 
Significantly Simplifies Energy Reporting for Energy Managers
The Green Button UsagePoint metering capability allows energy managers to link multiple-meter energy usage with locations and identify individual buildings. Its Summary Billing schema enables utilities to provide billing consumption for energy units, as well as cost, in a manner that enables energy managers to easily capture it from multiple points serviced by a single energy-service provider or across multiple utilities; significantly simplifying energy reporting for multiple consumption points. 
Events & Activities | 
The Green Button Alliance's chairman, Syed Mir, CIO and VP Corporate Services of London Hydro presented  "Green Button: Lessons Learned"  at the  CSWeek  event  held April 25-29, 2016, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Mir discussed linking utility-customer engagement to the Green Button standard and integrating Green Button with the utility's other internal strategic programs to address customer needs and create third-party business opportunities. London Hydro was recognized with a CSWeek "Innovation in Customer Service" Award at the event.
Barry Haaser, executive director of the Green Button Alliance presented on the " Connected Home Track: Standards & Protocols - Which Group Will Win the Interoperability Wars?" at the Continental Automated Buildings Association's (CABA) Intelligent Buildings & Digital Home Forum, held April 26-28, 2016, in San Diego, California, USA. CABA is a member of the Green Button Alliance, and the   CABA Forum is a leading event addressing the integration of intelligent building systems and connected home technology. 
What's next?
The   Seventh Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7)  is being hosted by the United States this week in San Francisco, California (June 1-2). The CEM7 brings together global energy policymakers, visionaries from the business and investment communities, and other clean-energy experts to drive high-impact, real-world action. In conjunction with CEM7, the Clean Energy Ministerial Host Committee is presenting a two-day, tented Startups & Technology Solutions Showcase  in San Francisco's Union Square, which includes companies selected from around the world to show their cutting-edge work. Green Button Alliance member Solar Analytics is exhibiting in the Startups & Technology Solutions Showcase in booth 253. To register for the Showcase, click here
The Grid Edge World Forum  will be held June 21-23, 2016 in San Jose, California. The event will feature innovation that is shaping the next-generation energy systems and will address issues and opportunities impacting tomorrow's distributed-energy systems. Green Button Alliance members will be presenting at the event, including Energyworx , Silver Spring Networks and the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative . Energyworx is a platinum sponsor of the event and will also exhibit in booth 317. Register to attend Grid Edge World Forum here
The Green Button Community Call #5

The next Ontario Green Button Community call will be hosted by   MaRS Discovery District (MaRSDD) and will be held June 23, 2016, at 3:00 pm EDT (19:00 UTC). Register  here  for the call and notification of the agenda.
Calendar
For a listing of upcoming industry events including the  Grid Edge World Forum 2016 (June 21-23); VERGE (June 21-23); Municipal Smart Grid Summit (June 26-28); and the  Smart Commercial Buildings (July 20-22), please visit the Green Button Alliance calendar
Kind regards,
 
Barry Haaser, Executive Director
Jeremy J. Roberts, General Manager
Donald F. Coffin, Technical Manager
Valdis Hellevik, PR Manager