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Anyone have experience with Green Button Data?

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by wayner, May 22, 2015.

  1. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    The folks on this site are quite tech savvy and interested in energy so I thought this might be a good place to get info on this.

    Green Button is an xml standard for energy info. If your utility supports this initiative then you can get lots of detailed energy usage for your account from them.

    Does anyone have any experience working with this data? I am interested in getting data on my consumption as well as my generation as I am about to install solar panels - I believe this will entail a second meter as this is sold back to the grid at a preferred rate, rather than using net metering.

    Ideally I would like to be able to analyze the data and or be able to format/manipulate data in a language like Python.
     
  2. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Green Button "Download my Data" is, as you say, simply an XML formatted version of your consumption data. Green Button "Connect my Data" includes authorization so that you can connect it to a compatible app and not have to manually download and import data. Utilities that don't support Green Button will typically allow you to download your consumption data in flat file (CSV) format.

    For solar in Ontario, you would be eligible for the microFIT feed in tariff program. It entails installing a second bi-directional meter to record the solar output alone so that you can be paid for all your generation at the appropriate FIT contract rate.
     
  3. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Ideally I would like to be able to poll with Toronto Hydro Green Button data servers to download data into my own database for both my energy consumption meter and my solar generation meter. I would likely want to then create my own reporting and/or web site with this data - it would be nice to be able to show my solar generation on a real time basis. So what I am looking for is some code that would help you download the xml data and dump it into a relational database like MySQL or SQLite.

    But so far the Toronto Hydro data site is woefully unreliable. When I try to download monthly data in Excel format it always Times Out. When I try to download the same data in Green Button format it Times Out about 50% of the time. Downloading hourly data for a single day looks better but I won't more than just that. And I thought the data was supposed to be pretty much real time but it looks like the latest data available is from three days ago.

    So far I am not having any luck in getting support from Toronto Hydro on this. I sent them an email yesterday but I have yet to get a response. It looks like MaRs is the "brains" behind some of this for Ontario but I sent an email to them but I haven't got a response their either. And some of the web pages (like http://greenbuttondata.ca/homes/) are very poorly done with incorrect hyperlinks.

    And it looks like London Hydro is the leading edge for this in Ontario and Toronto Hydro is somewhat behind.
     
  4. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    My power company has this option, but I couldn't find any software for it (free) that did anything special. Looks like a Gov't Initiative that just fizzled out.
     
  5. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    London Hydro has done some early pilot work with the Ministry of Energy on Green Button, so they are likely the furthest ahead. My own utility offers Green Button and CSV downloads of my hourly or daily consumption data, and at least as far as the CSV format goes, works quite reliably.

    Green Button was originally developed by the US Department of Energy and adopted by the Ontario Ministry of Energy. The theory is sound. With so many different Smart Meter systems out there, a common data file would enable or encourage software and app developers to build products and services knowing that they would have a larger audience and not have to build a version for each utility company and/or metering technology.
     
  6. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    I wish they would all support CSV, whether or not they support Green Button. I had to write a script to convert from Green Button to CSV. Green Button is a rather terrible format, in my opinion.
     

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