As part of an effort to expand the tools customers have to manage their energy consumption and save money, Seattle City Light became the first U.S. utility to achieve certification for the “Green Button” data it shares with customers.
“Advances in technology are creating new opportunities for customers to have more control over how much electricity they use,” City Light Chief Information Officer Dirk Mahling said. “We are committed to providing our customers with the Green Button data they need to take advantage of those opportunities. And we’re proud to be the first utility in the country to pass certification for the data we share.”
A public-private partnership of UCAlug, Underwriters Laboratory, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Department of Energy started the certification process to ensure the interoperability of the broad range of Green Button deployments across the country. City Light received its certification May 27.
The Green Button initiative started in 2012. It is an industry-led effort that responds to a White House call-to-action to provide utility customers with easy and secure access to their energy usage information in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format. Customers are able to securely download their own detailed energy usage with a simple click of a literal “Green Button” on electric utilities’ websites.
With their own data in hand, consumers can take advantage of a growing array of online services to help them manage energy use and save on their bills.
Seattle City Light currently provides such data to commercial customers through a program called Meter Watch, which requires a dedicated phone line. As part of the utility’s six-year Strategic Plan, City Light plans to start installing advanced meters in 2015. Advanced meters would enable City Light to provide all customers access to their data so they can analyze their energy use and get tips for how they can reduce their consumption to save money.
“By using this new, innovative technology, Seattle City Light will be able to better serve our customers and reduce our community’s impact on the environment,” Customer Care Director Kelly Enright said. “It’s another example of why we are the nation’s greenest utility.”
Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.