Itron, BG&E, others join White House Green Button initiative for energy efficiency

Washington, D.C., March 22, 2012 — Itron, Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., PECO, Reliant Energy, Silver Spring Networks, Efficiency 2.0, FirstFuel and other energy companies announced their participation as technology providers and partners with the Green Button initiative.

Participants in the program will make "Green Button" functionality a standard feature in their energy presentation software. By clicking a Green Button, residential and commercial utility customers can download detailed energy usage information in a standardized format to manage consumption and costs.

This functionality supports a White House call to action that challenged utilities to engage and empower consumers to help them save energy and money while also driving innovation in energy efficiency.

Itron began supporting green button functionality through its customer care software product in December 2011. San Diego Gas and Electric, which has deployed more than 2 million Itron smart meters, was the first of two Itron utility customers to deploy Green Gutton functionality to its customers.

The primary goal of the Green Button initiative is to allow consumers to download their usage information in customer- and computer-friendly formats. Green Button is based on a consensus industry technical standard that was facilitated through a public-private partnership (i.e. the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel), with the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology serving as the lead federal entity.

Utilities are voluntarily committing to adopt the industry standard to empower consumers to save energy and foster innovation by third-party apps developers.

As Energy Secretary Steven Chu has said, "Providing consumers with easy access to data on their energy consumption can help give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their energy use. Developing applications and services to help consumers understand and control their energy use is a field ripe for American innovation."

In October 2009, partner utility BG&E was awarded a $200 million federal stimulus grant in support of a comprehensive gas and electric service system modernization, known as smart grid. This spring, BG&E will begin the installation of 2 million smart meters and meter devices across BG&E's Central Maryland service territory. A few months after the first meters are installed, BG&E will launch an online tool that will allow customers to view their energy usage patterns in near real time — within 24 hours.

PECO plans to incorporate the Green Button initiative into its online tools so that customers can view their information in the same format as customers of participating utilities and energy companies across the country.

Work is underway at PECO to upgrade metering technology to all of its 1.6 million electric customers during the next 10 years.

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