WASHINGTON — The Obama administration announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers have committed to providing more than 15 million households with access to data about their energy use with the click of an online “Green Button.” By providing consumers with information about how they are using energy, the Green Button initiative is designed to help them reduce energy waste and trim their utility bills.

Green Button is an industry-led effort that allows electricity customers to download their household or building energy-use data in a consumer- and computer-friendly format. The utilities and electricity suppliers making new commitments include: American Electric Power; Austin Energy; Baltimore Gas and Electric; CenterPoint Energy; Commonwealth Edison; NSTAR; PECO; Reliant; and Virginia Dominion Power. The utilities have agreed to base their Green Buttons on a common technical standard developed with a public-private partnership supported by the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Green Button-enabled web and smartphone applications promise to help consumers choose the most economical rate plan for their energy use patterns; provide customized energy efficiency tips; provide easy-to-use tools to size and finance rooftop solar panels; and deliver virtual energy audit software.

Publication date: 04/16/2012