By November 1, 2023, Ontario’s electricity and gas distributors are required to implement the “Green Button” data standard. Green Button is a tool which allows electricity and natural gas consumers to access and better monitor their consumption data. Green Button consists of two functions: “Download My Data” (DMD), whereby consumers can directly access their consumption data, and “Connect My Data” (CMD), whereby consumers can authorize the secure transfer of their data to third parties. Among other things, this will allow third parties to operate or provide guidance on efficient operation of energy systems at customer locations. Further details are found in our earlier post.
In September 2021, the Ontario government made an Energy Data Regulation under the Electricity Act, 1998 setting out the energy data that distributors must make available to consumers, and the process by which consumers (account holders) can authorize another person to receive the energy data. The November 1, 2023, implementation date is included in the regulation, with the intention of giving sufficient lead time to develop and implement new systems and processes.
The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has been leading efforts to assist and guide Green Button implementation. The OEB issued Staff Guidance on a variety of Green Button implementation topics in November 2021. Among the topics addressed are: what data should be made available; process for third-party authorization and termination of authorization; performance standards and reporting requirements.
Many of the issues and details around Green Button implementation are quite technical and require input from participants and subject matter experts. To that end, the OEB established a Green Button Industry-led Working Group to identify and report on issues that arise as parties implement Green Button. The industry working group has been meeting throughout 2022 and its materials are found here.
In November 2022, the Green Button industry working group issued a report setting out its recommended best practices for Green Button implementation. The best practices are listed by topic in the Alphabetical Index to the report. Most of the items noted represent a consensus view of all participants in the working group.
Concurrent with the release of the Green Button industry working group report, OEB staff issued its Letter Response to Green Button Implementation Report. The OEB staff letter generally endorses the working group report, adding a few points of clarification.
The November 21, 2022, OEB staff letter notes that while some distributors have already implemented Green Button, most are planning to do so in the second or third quarter of 2023. OEB staff indicates that they will continue to monitor implementation process and may make additional reporting requirements as the implementation deadline approaches.