Pushing The Green Button: How to Access Your Home’s Energy Data to Save (& Even Earn) Money

Imagine seeing your energy usage in near real time and being able to make immediate changes to improve efficiency. That’s the power of Green Button.

Thinking about solar?  Spending too much on electricity?  Wondering if natural gas heating is a good option for you?  Have any idea how much water you use in a day?

These answers, and more, are just the click of a green button away.

Haven’t heard of the Green Button yet?

The “Green Button” on your utility’s website is how you get your home’s energy “digital receipt”.

It’s a way to download or connect your utility usage data (electricity, gas, water) to gain better insight into the waste and inefficiencies in your home, thereby enabling you to make adjustments to your habits in order to use fewer resources and even save money. All of this data is measured by your smart meters at your home.

As a homeowner or renter, you may already have access to your data through a Green Button program offered by your utility company.

Even better than being able to see your home’s energy usage data, is to use it to your advantage.

That’s where Green Button Connect My Data, a new way to share your energy data with third parties (like OhmConnect), comes in.

Green Button Connect My Data is a new capability that allows utility customers to automate the secure transfer of their energy usage data to authorized third parties, based on affirmative (opt-in) customer consent and control.

What’s so great about the Green Button Connect program?

  • It’s user-friendly. Green Button Connect is an easy way for utility customers to share theirutility usage data in a standardized format with third-party providers of their choice.
  • It’s informational. It allows customers to obtain information about their energy savings directly from third-party providers.
  • It helps to reduce consumption and increase efficiency. Analysis of electricity usage data can help utility customers make informed decisions to use less electricity and save money.

How do I download my Green Button data?

For PG&E Customers:

  • Navigate to your PG&E login, pge.com and log in to PG&E via your utility credentials.
  • On the home page, under "Usage, Rates, & Savings," click "Energy Usage Details."
  • On the next page, titled Energy Usage Details, scroll to the bottom of the page. On the right-hand side of the page you will see the Green Button Data Icon.
  • Click the icon to download your data.
  • You can select to export the data for all bill totals, the usage for specific billing periods, or usage for a series of days.
  • Finally, select either .XML or .CSV format. We recommend .csv if you are used to Microsoft Excel. Note: the file will be downloaded in a zip file. Open the file folder to access the data.

For SCE Customers:

  • Navigate to your SCE login, sce.com and log into SCE with your utility credentials.
  • On the homepage, on the "My Account" tab, you will see a left side menu. Click the "Green Button - Download my Data" icon.
  • Select the date range and the format (XML or .csv). Click the Download button.
  • Note: the file may be downloaded in a zip file. Open the file folder to access your data.

For SDG&E Customers:

  • Navigate to your SDG&E login, sdge.com and log into your account via your SDG&E utility credentials.
  • Click on the "My Energy" Tab.
  • Click on the "My Energy Overview" underneath the "My Energy" tab.
  • From the View dropdown menu, select "My Energy Use."
  • Click the "Green Button - Download my Data" icon.
  • Select the meter and date range you are interested in.
  • Click the Download button. Note: the file may be downloaded in a zip file. Open the file folder to access the .XML file.

Is there a difference between the data I get from Green Button versus the data OhmConnect gets directly from my utility?

While the two sets of data generally should match, they are not from exactly the same source.

When your utility reviews your smart meter data after an #Ohmhour, it puts the data through a scrubbing process, aiming to remove any erroneous readings (gaps, spikes, zeroes, etc). OhmConnect then receives that data, now determined to be "billing-grade" and uses the data to determine your cash back rewards. We are required by the state authority to use only data that is determined to be billing-grade for your #Ohmhour calculations.

The data available via Green Button is collected from the same smart meter but provided to you directly via Green Button. It does not go through the same processing as  billing-grade data, which is why the two may not always match.

Why might OhmConnect not have my data when it's available through Green Button?

Per the above, if OhmConnect is waiting on the utility to provide the data (normally through a secure file transfer process), OhmConnect may not have data available to you even though Green Button data is available.

… And that’s what’s good! Tell us - what will you do with your energy data once you have it?

John Anderson

John is an Energy Economist fascinated by the potential for consumer technologies to bridge the participation gap between supply- and demand-side resources in competitive wholesale electricity markets.

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