Nine more utilities, and three large energy vendors, announced support on Thursday for the Green Button project, which enables utility customers to download their energy consumption data with a click of a button and also use that data for energy-saving apps. President Obama plans to visit Ohio State University on Thursday afternoon and co-host an event with the utilities making commitments.
The Green Button initiative was first announced in January with the support of six utilities. While the project clearly has industry support, it was created to meet a call-to-action by the White House to provide consumers with easy-to-understand data about their energy use.
The new utilities on board include heavyweights like American Electric Power, Austin Energy, Baltimore Gas and Electric, CenterPoint Energy, Commonwealth Edison, NSTAR, PECO, Reliant, and Virginia Dominion Power. The new energy vendors on board include Silver Spring Networks, Oracle, and Itron. Previous utilities supporting the project include PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Glendale Power & Light, Oncor and Pepco Holdings.
With the additional utilities, close to 30 million households live in the footprint of a utility that will be offering energy data via Green Button.
As I discussed in a conversation with Nick Sinai, White House Senior Advisor, and Alex Laskey, founder of Opower, at the Verge conference last week, Green Button is just a first step to try to liberate energy data and make it useful to consumers. However, it’s currently a somewhat inefficient process — consumers have to download the energy data and then take another step to use it in a third party app — so some utilities are building a sort of more automated next-gen Green Button 2.0 service.
But the first step of Green Button is a big one, and dozens of companies are sending out letters of support for the project including Google, BT, Intel, Verizon, The Climate Group, Johnson Controls, GE Energy, and Kleiner Perkins.
Image courtesy of Opower.