A woman analyzes her electric bill to help her reduce carbon footprint
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Push that green button

Got Your Utility Bill Handy? These Services Use Your Home’s Energy Data to Save You Money & Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Katie Overmonds
February 18, 2018

Thinking about solar?  Spending too much on electricity? Want to know if natural gas heating is a good option for you?  These are some of the many questions a homeowner or renter might have about their home’s energy and resource use, but before now, not know where to find the answers.

Now, with the “Green Button Connect”, you can get answers to these questions (and more!) with a few clicks of a -- you guessed it -- button.

Reduce your carbon footprint with Green Button

Green Button is a way to download or connect to your utility-usage data (electricity, gas, water) to gain better insight of waste and inefficiencies; allowing you to make adjustments to use fewer resources and even save or earn money.

And even better, you can not only see and analyze the data yourself but you can SHARE your data with a suite of apps and services that will make recommendations based on your personalized home energy usage.

All you need to know to get access is your SDG&E, SCE, SMUD, or PG&E login information and you’re set to go.

What can I do with my home’s energy data?

If you know your SDG&E, SCE, SMUD, or PG&E login information, you can now put your home’s energy data to good use for the planet and your wallet.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite apps and services that will help you better understand your home’s energy profile and save energy and money.

  • Save Energy & Get Paid with OhmConnect: OhmConnect is a FREE service that rewards you for saving energy when it matters most to the grid and the environment. Once you connect your utility account to OhmConnect, you’ll receive a notification about once per week (by email or SMS) to save energy for an hour. If you save energy, you receive cash. Win- win!
  • WeGoWise:  WegoWise offers solutions that empower building owners and managers to understand, track, and improve building efficiency. The software provides insightful and actionable information to help their customers manage energy and water usage, saving not only resources, but time and money, too.
  • PEV4me.com: Interfaces with both PG&E and SDG&E and targets users who either own or are considering buying plug-in electric vehicles. The application provides information on the potential cost of charging a plug-in electric vehicle, how those costs compare with driving a typical internal combustion vehicle and which utility electricity plans might be most suitable.
  • PlotWatt: Allows you to measure, model, and simulate the impact of energy initiatives before you invest. This service is targeted towards owners of businesses, so would be less handy for a homeowner but could be a big money saver if you own a commercial building.

So how can I get access to my home’s energy data?

For some of the services listed above, all you need is your SDG&E, SCE, SMUD, or PG&E login information and you’re set to go. The utility will then share your home’s unique energy usage data with you directly, or with a third-party service provider (like the ones listed above) if you give permission.

a graphic showing how the green button can reduce carbon footprint

To have the information sent to you directly:

  1. Log in to your to your online SDG&E, SCE, SMUD, or PG&E account or create one if one doesn’t already exist
  2. Scan their site to download or connect the usage information from within your account. You may find a specific Green Button logo to click or similar button. (Or read up on more information about Green Button Connect programs for PG&E, SDG&E,and SCE on their sites.)
  3. When you do get the file, it will be in the Extensible Markup Language (.XML). It's a computer-readable file. You will need an application to properly read and determine the content of the file.

To learn more, visit GreenButtonData.org.

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