CE&E Case / U.S.A (1)

Pacific Gas & Electric's Green Button

U.S.A (1): Pacific Gas & Electric’s Green Button

Project Title Pacific Gas & Electric’s Green Button
Location San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Time Period of Project 2011-Present
Link to Project Website
Key Word Green Button, Energy Use, Customer, Green House Gas


Project Background

With the ongoing success of Green Button, PG&E released Green Button Connect (GBC) Beta on October 1, 2012.
This platform gives customers even greater control over their energy use by offering a simple, one-time authorization to automate the secure hand-off of their energy data to the third-party energy application developer of their choosing.

GBC Beta was launched with three initial application developers: PEV4Me, Leafully, and Unplug Stuff. The success of the initial three developers led PG&E to publish an application in January 2013 to expand the third party requestor pool. To date, PG&E has received 50 plus applications with vendors ranging from a student implementing a social gaming app to more experienced companies performing analysis for business customers. PG&E selected eight vendors for the first round of expanded third parties, which was implemented by the end of August 2013. This platform provides developers the opportunity to continuously develop innovative tools aimed at helping customers manage their energy usage and reduce their energy bills.

Figure. Web Interface of Green Button


Case Description

PG&E is deploying Smart Grid technology and education programs to help customers better manage their energy use, helping them in many cases to save money and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electric generation. For example, with backing from the White House, PG&E launched its “Green Button” initiative in 2011. This program provides customers access to standardized energy usage and historical billing reports that they can share with energy service providers in order to help them find ways to reduce their energy consumption and save money.


Project Outcomes

This project works to create an Engaged Consumer – customers interested in viewing and sharing their energy usage data with third parties are more engaged in managing their energy usage and controlling costs. From July 2012 through June 2013, approximately 36,600 energy usage files have been downloaded via the Green Button application. Through September 1, 2013, almost 15,000 customers have enrolled in the Green Button Beta program in order to share their usage data with an authorized third party. Additionally, as of September 2013, more than 85,000 residential customers are enrolled in PG&E’s Energy Alerts program, a program that notifies customers when their energy usage may move them into a higher rate tier. These alerts help reduce the chances of bill surprises and allow customers the opportunity to more effectively manage their energy bills. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has also won numerous awards for implementing elements of the Smart Grid, including being named one of the nation’s most “intelligent utilities” in the third annual “UtiliQ” ranking by Intelligent Utility magazine, and being named a top utility for Smart Grid implementation by GreenTech Media and GTM Research. In addition, PG&E has hosted numerous international delegations for tours of its Smart Grid Lab, located in San Ramon, California. The lab is dedicated to conducting cutting-edge smart grid research and the work being conducted there, along with the utility’s experience as an early adopter of the Smart Grid, has provided the utility’s customers with enhanced safety and reliability, more insight into energy use and improved customer service by ensuring that Smart Grid components are thoroughly tested and piloted before being deployed onto the grid.


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