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National Grid, PacifiCorp Among Latest Green Button Commitments

National Grid, PacifiCorp, PPL, TXU Energy and Chattanooga EPB yesterday committed to provide more than 8 million businesses and households with easy access to their energy use data with the click of on online Green Button, the White House said.

Also yesterday, software companies EnergyAI, Melon Power, Performance Systems Development, Retroficiency, Snugg Home, and Wattvision announced they’re developing applications or services for businesses and consumers using the electricity data tool.

The White House’s Green Button initiative allows electricity customers to download information about their building or household energy use in a consumer- and computer-friendly format.

The utilities and electricity suppliers making new commitments:

  • National Grid, serving 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, will start its Green Button program with 15,000 customers in Worcester, Mass.
  • PacifiCorp, serving more than 1.7 million customers as Rocky Mountain Power in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho, and as Pacific Power in Oregon, Washington and California.
  • TXU Energy, serving about 1.8 million retail electric customers in Texas.
  • PPL, serving 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania.
  • Chattanooga EPB, serving 170,000 customers in Tennessee and Georgia.

These utilities join 15 others already participating in the Green Button program. More than 30 million US households and businesses now have secure, easy-to-understand electronic information about their energy use, according to the White House.

In addition to helping consumers save money, the initiative creates jobs for software developers and other entrepreneurs interested in designing and marketing new products and services based on Green Button data, the White House says. Green-Button-enabled web and smartphone applications can help consumers choose the most economical rate plan for their use patterns and provide customized energy efficiency tips. These apps can also provide easy-to-use tools to size and finance rooftop solar panels, and deliver virtual energy audit software that can cut costs for building owners and help get retrofits started sooner.

EnergyAi, an app that analyzes Green Button data to identify energy savings opportunities, says businesses are already using its product to reduce energy use, costs, and greenhouse gas emissions.

An EnergyAi analysis for one office building showed that equipment had been left on during weeknights and weekends for 450 hours over the past year, adding about $9,000 to the electricity bill. Facility management made simple operational changes to reduce costs, EnergyAi says.

The Energy Department’s Apps for Energy contest, launched on April 5, continues to accept submissions until May 15 for energy-related online and mobile tools based on the Green Button standard. Winners will be announced May 22.

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