SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced that federal officials joined with utility and technology executives in Silicon Valley to announce a new online tool designed to allow consumers in California and other states to download their household energy use information and help them save energy and reduce their utility bills.

Two of California’s three largest utilities — Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric — launched “Green Button,” a new feature on their websites that will let nearly six million households representing about 17 million electricity consumers download their own detailed energy usage information with the click of a button. In addition, Southern California Edison (California’s second largest utility), Glendale Power & Light, Oncor, Pepco Holdings Inc, and several other utilities across the country that collectively serve an additional 11.3 million households also plan to make the feature available later this year.

Access to data on household energy use is important in helping consumers conserve energy and save money, said the officials. And because Green Button is designed around an open data standard that is available to all, the Office of Science and Technology Policy said that it is already spurring interest among website and software developers in using the standard to provide new services such as information about how to save energy or choose appropriately sized solar panels. The Green Button is also expected to support a new generation of interactive thermostats and virtual energy audits that will recommend energy-efficiency retrofit improvements for homes and businesses.

Administration officials celebrated the launch of Green Button at a Silicon Valley Leadership Group event that also featured utility chief information officers and entrepreneurs from leading smart grid, energy efficiency, and solar financing companies.

Publication date: 01/30/2012