The Easier Alternative to Green Button Data
Green Button data has had a successful debut as a method for businesses to collect and view their energy and utility usage, but there are some aspects missing for any company looking for standardized, global access to utility data. Read on to learn about new options that have emerged as a more comprehensive alternative to Green Button for solar installers, businesses, and consumers alike.
Green Button, Blue Button
You’re most likely familiar with the Green Button initiative. But did you know that the Blue Button came first? The successful Blue Button Initiative involves websites that enable patients to easily download their health data for facilitated personal, third party, and healthcare provider use. This revolutionary initiative let people know that they were missing out on accessing and controlling a critical part of their personal information: their health records.
About two years after the Blue Button’s implementation, in 2012, Green Button was introduced for businesses and consumers to securely access their personal energy and utility usage data. The application is intuitive: you simply go to your participating utility provider’s website and click a literal green-colored button to download the data. According to the Green Button Alliance, the industry-wide effort for the Green Button data implementation enables widespread utility data collection for energy consumption analysis, as well as for societal and environmental change mitigation.
Developed in response to customers’ increasing demands to view and understand their own usage data, the Green Button was also quite successful; over 60 million homes and businesses now have access to their energy information. A better understanding and integration of residential utility data enables consumers to potentially reduce their energy bills, figure out where the best areas for energy savings are, and accurately estimate savings on residential projects like solar installations.
But benefits of easily accessing utility data don’t stop at the household level, as there are use cases ranging from residential to commercial to developmental. For large businesses that use vast amounts of energy, learning about their energy-intensive times of day and about underutilized areas can prove to be highly valuable in their energy savings initiatives.
Green Button Data for Solar
One group that has benefited and will continue to benefit from access to utility data is the solar industry. Solar installers have a lot to gain from utility data, as it gives them an accurate, comprehensive picture of how much energy their prospects consume each month. Utility data can be a challenge to collect; more often than not, installers ultimately base estimates and quotes on just one month’s bill. But to generate an accurate system size assessment and cost savings estimates, installers need at least 12 months of usage history to get a full picture of a prospect’s energy usage patterns over different seasons and conditions.
For these installers, Green Button is a good option as a source of utility data, but it’s not perfect. As of today, only about 50 utilities and electricity suppliers have signed on to Green Button. This limited coverage leaves solar installers in need of another solution.
A Better Alternative
While there is still vast potential for Green Button to grow, in the meantime, the Urjanet platform offers another option. With 12 months of utility bill data collected with consumer consent and automatically aggregated from over 5,000 utility providers worldwide, installers can easily access and manage the utility data they need.
In an age where having data on demand is a necessity, not an added amenity, having automated, consolidated data can be a crucial time-saving asset. To learn more about how Urjanet’s Utility Data Platform can help you create more accurate quotes and drive more sales, talk to a data expert today.
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- Urjanet Launches Utility Data for Solar to Empower Solar Adoption
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About Alice Lee
Alice Lee is a Marketing Intern at Urjanet, and an undergraduate student studying marketing and international business at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.