Ontario's Green Button Initiative
In November 2012, the Ministry of Energy announced a partnership with MaRS Discovery District to introduce the Green Button Initiative in Ontario. The initiative is based on the Green Button initiative launched by the United States Department of Energy in 2011.
Led by the Ministry of Energy and MaRS Discovery District, a working group was formed with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario and representatives from the energy sector to adopt and implement the “Green Button data standard” -- a common format for utilities to securely share data with their customers.
The initial phase of the Green Button Initative is called Download My Data and allows customers to download their electricity usage data from their utility’s website by clicking on a green button.
- Currently, over 50 percent of the province’s electricity customers have access to DMD.
- The following utilities have made Download My Data available to their customers online: London Hydro, Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, PowerStream and Hydro Ottawa.
- Several utilities are currently working toward launching Download My Data in the coming months, including Guelph Hydro, Peterborough Utilities, North Bay Hydro, Milton Hydro and Festival Hydro.
The next phase of the initiative is called Connect My Data, which will allow customers to authorize direct, secure transfers of their energy usage data to web and mobile applications (apps) for their computers, tablets and smartphones.
- This phase will allow customers to automatically integrate their data with apps, so they don’t need to log in to their utility website to download the file.
- London Hydro and Hydro One will launch Connect My Data pilots in late 2013.
- The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge is for Connect My Data-enabled apps. The winning submissions will be considered for the second half of the Connect My Data pilots in the spring.
- All submissions to the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge that conform to the Green Button standard will be able to work for consumers in Ontario and the United States who have access to Green Button through their local utility.