At UtilityAPI, we're are big fans of Green Button. In fact, we're members of the Green Button Alliance and our CTO and Founder, Daniel Roesler, sits on their Board. We offer Green Button hosting for interested 3rd parties so they can be listed on the CA IOU websites for data sharing. But there are differences between our data and Green Button data. Let's start with defining the two ways one can get data via Green Button.
Green Button Download My Data
Green Button Download My Data is a way that utility account holders can download their own usage data from within their online account with the utility. Most of the time this comes in the form of a CSV or XML file that includes just basic monthly usage data. PDF copies of the bill, Demand, Line Item, TOU breakdown, 3rd Party Supplier, and other types of charges are not included. Some utilities offer the ability for account holders to download interval data via this method, but that is rare outside of California. Formatting and structure of the data also vary from utility to utility.
Green Button Connect My Data
Green Button Connect My Data is a way for utility account holders to share their usage data with authorized 3rd parties via the utility website and their online account. The type of data available, its structure/format, and the authorization processes vary greatly from utility to utility. Currently only the CA IOUs, National Grid (upstate New York) and ComEd have a Connect My Data process in place.
This method can work for 3rd parties if they really only need interval data. However, they have to go through a rather intense, drawn out process in order to be listed as a 3rd party on the utility website. The process can be cumbersome and frustrating for utility account holders to go through as well.
UtilityAPI offers Green Button hosting and set up for 3rd parties so they can more quickly use this service, as well as more streamlined authorization steps for utility account holders to follow. As with Green Button Download My Data, PDF copies of the bill are not included, and it is very rare to see Demand, Line Item, TOU breakdown, 3rd Party Supplier or other types of charges.
(if you’re a utility or utility vendor, we offer a Green Button Connect solution for utilities, too)
UtilityAPI Agent Data
In addition to the above Green Button methods, UtilityAPI offers an authorization process that lets a utility customer temporarily designate UtilityAPI as a limited authorized agent who can access and share their data on their behalf. This greatly simplifies, streamlines, and standardizes the authorization process and data collected, no matter the source, so much so that we can often get you the data in minutes. The authorization process takes under a minute to complete, and is the same for every utility we support.
We certainly can use Green Button data as part of the data we provide, but given its limitations as outlined above, we often do not consider it to be the complete data set our customers need. Green Button also does not always work for every type of customer, so it's important to us to have backup sources to check and compliment any data we do get from Green Button. These alternative sources are automatically checked and included via our service.
The data set we work to provide includes PDF copies of the bill, Demand, Line Item, TOU breakdown, 3rd Party Supplier and other charges, as well as the 15 minute or hourly interval data (if the utility offers intervals — not all of them do). Click here for a full list of the data we can get from each utility. The data you get from us will always be structured the same no matter the utility or source of data we use. This way too, you know what to expect and can build analysis processes that are dependable and repeatable.