As part of President Obama’s executive order last week, which included directing the federal government to triple its use of renewable energy by 2020, Obama instructed agencies to incorporate “Green Button” data further into their energy management practices.
First unveiled in 2012, the Green Button Initiative is literally a green button on a utility’s website that allows consumers to download their energy consumption data in a format that’s easy to understand.
According to the Department of Energy, 48 utilities and electricity suppliers serving more than 59 million homes and businesses have committed to giving customers Green Button access, and over 100 millions Americans already have access to their Green Button energy data.
The Green Button website says that the data provided to customers can be used to save energy in a number of different ways. These include customizing heating and cooling settings, helping facilitate energy-efficiency retrofitting, verifying energy-efficiency investments, and optimizing cost-effectiveness of solar panels, to name a few.
This kind of information can be especially useful in managing large campuses or apartment complexes where energy demands differ across different spaces.
In 2011, for the fifth consecutive year, American households paid more for electricity than they did the year before, reaching $1,419 that year. If having more access to data can help reduce energy use and energy costs, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Next year a similar Blue Button will be offered to provide data for healthcare records, which will allow clients to easily compile medical history and information.