Ontario's Green Button Initiative
In November 2012, the government 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 customers to securely access their data from their electric utilities.
The initial phase of the Green Button Initiative is called Download My Data and allows customers to download their electricity usage data from their electric utility's website by clicking on a green button.
- Currently, 60 per cent of the province's electricity customers have access to Download My Data.
- The following utilities have made Download My Data available to their customers online: London Hydro, Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, PowerStream, Hydro Ottawa, North Bay Hydro, Peterborough Utilities, Guelph Hydro and Festival Hydro.
- More utilities are currently working toward launching Download My Data in the coming months, including Milton Hydro, Kingston Hydro, Erie Thames Powerlines, and Veridian Connections.
- Ontario is working with all electric utilities across the province so that more Ontarians can access this tool.
The next phase of the initiative is called Connect My Data, which will allow customers to authorize direct, secure transfers of their electricity usage data to web and mobile apps for their computers, tablets and smartphones.
- This phase will allow customers to automatically integrate their data with apps.
- This spring, London Hydro and Hydro One will begin to allow electricity customers to participate in the first phase of a Connect My Data pilot that will let customers automatically connect their data with Green Button apps.
- The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge winners will be considered for the second half of the Connect My Data pilots later this year. MaRS Discovery District will work with the challenge winners to integrate their apps to participate in the second phase of the pilot.
Following the pilot phase, Ontario expects more electric utilities to move forward with Download My Data and, ultimately, Connect My Data. As the Green Button Initiative continues to grow, participating electric utilities may choose to provide apps directly to their customers on their websites.