Green Button Apps

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What are Green Button Applications?

Green Button is the common-sense idea that electricity customers should be able to download their own detailed household or building electricity usage information from their utility website, in a common consumer- and computer-friendly format.

Green Button Apps use customer-downloaded Green Button data to help those consumers explore and manage their energy usage, perform a virtual energy audit, receive energy efficiency tips, make solar photovoltaic decisions and more.


Who can use Green Button Apps?

Green Button App users are people who have access to their household energy usage data via a Green Button on their utility or retail energy supplier website.

Most apps will require use of downloaded household or building energy use data. Some may require sharing of data. It is important for the app user to read and understand the agreements for data usage with apps.


Where can I access Green Button data?

Green Button data is available from participating energy providers. Currently it is offered from NSTAR, Pacific Gas & Electric Co (PG&E), Portland General Electric, Reliant, San Diego Gas & Electric Co, Texas-New Mexico Power and TXU Energy. Customers who have an account with these providers are able to log in and click the green button to download their energy use data.

Sample data is available at greenbuttondata.org for anyone who is interested in Green Button data but may not have access to their own personal energy use data yet.

Where can I find Green Button Apps?

A list of Green Button Apps are available on OpenEI Apps.

Green Button is a new initiative, so at the moment most of the apps are still in development. As they become available they will be added to OpenEI Apps. Check back often to find new Green Button Apps!


How do I use Green Button Apps?

Each Green Button App has a specific or intended use. For the moment, Green Button Apps require downloaded Green Button data.

Green Button Apps help users to make informed energy decisions. Uses for Green Button apps include exploration and interpretation of energy use data for consumers to better understand their energy consumption use, needs, and behavior. Understanding energy use data may help or encourage users to reduce their energy use, become more energy efficient, and even compete with others. Apps such as Simple Energy allow users to compare their energy usage with friends and neighbors on Facebook.

As more Green Button data is shared and becomes available, some Green Button Apps may be able to be used without uploading or sharing one's own energy usage data.


Can I develop my own Green Button Apps?

Yes! Green Button App developers can access a tool kit, made available by the North American Energy Standards Board, which developed the data standard on which the Green Button is based.

The Green Button standard and developer resources can be found on Green Button Developer.

Other app development tools and support are offered from organizations such as Tendril Connect and Genability.


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Find out more information on the Apps for Energy Challenge, announced recently by President Obama. “Apps for Energy” challenges innovative software developers to build new apps for mobile phones, computers, tablets, software programs and more, utilizing data from major utility companies to help consumers and businesses use less energy and save money. If you have a great idea for a Green Button app, you could win big!