• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Helping Energy Customers Save Money with Green Button

LONDON - Ontario is providing families and businesses more control over their electricity and natural gas bills with the introduction of a new Green Button standard that will allow them to track their energy use, reduce bills and save money. Studies have found that easy access to energy data, which Green Button, along with smart home devices, can help consumers make informed decisions and achieve energy savings of up to 18 percent. Ontario will become the first province in Canada to mandate the standard. "Families and businesses want to be in the driver's seat when it comes to their energy bills," said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. "Green Button is part of our commitment to give consumers more choice when it comes to their energy use and will enable easy and quick access to their consumption data through smartphone or computer apps so they can find customized tips to reduce energy use or switch electricity price plans to save money." As of November 1, 2021, the government is requiring nearly all regulated Ontario electricity and natural gas utilities to provide Green Button to their customers within twenty-four months. This builds on progress made by London Hydro and Festival Hydro, which voluntarily offer Green Button to their customers, which gave families and businesses in their regions the first opportunity in Ontario to find additional savings on their bills using this method. Green Button lets customers download their natural gas and hourly electricity data in a standardized format from their utility and authorize the secure transfer of this data to applications of their choice. This real time data can then be accessed on their smartphone or computer. These apps can also analyze the energy data and provide customers with helpful energy-saving tips to reduce their energy bills and personalized retrofit options to achieve long-lasting savings. "The Green Button standard ushers utilities into the modern technology era of open utilities, increased customer choice, and uniform energy management services for the benefit of customers," said Vinay Sharma, CEO of London Hydro. "Indeed, Green Button will manifest the true benefits of smart meter systems for customers." The implementation of the Green Button standard comes as the Ontario government celebrates one year of providing consumers with customer choice. For the first time, Ontarians can choose an electricity price plan that best suits their lifestyle and electricity usage. As of November 1, 2020, most families, small businesses, and farms can select