National Grid New York’s Green Button Connect platform has been certified as compliant with the Green Button Standard by the Green Button Alliance. The software platform, built by data access experts UtilityAPI, is the first to be certified at an investor-owned utility in the United States. National Grid New York’s customers can use the platform to securely share their energy data with authorized third parties — often energy efficiency, HVAC/energy management, demand response, EV charging, solar and energy storage companies. Likewise, those same third party companies, once registered and authorized, can use the system to request, manage and download data from their customers. No data is shared without customer consent, which the customer can revoke at any time.
“Green Button” is the energy industry’s data access and sharing standard. A Green Button Connect My Data (GBCMD) platform encourages innovation at the local level by giving local businesses easy access to the high quality data they need to accelerate clean energy transitions. This data is standardized, cleaned and available in many formats, which makes it highly useful to third parties. Data sharing is safe, secure, and managed by National Grid. The GBCMD platform uses encrypted, authenticated connections for transferring data — the same level of security as banks.
“National Grid New York’s certified platform is a major milestone in our work to fight climate change,” said UtilityAPI CEO Devin Hampton. “National Grid is leading utilities and their customers toward a future where everything and everyone in the energy ecosystem is connected. The data access this system provides positions them at the center of the national conversation around utility-enabled clean energy and innovation.”
“Our Green Button Connect platform makes it easy for customers to share data securely with third-party experts who can help them maximize and better understand their energy use,” said Carlos Nouel, National Grid Vice President of Transformation Programs. “It’s also important to become certified as compliant with the Green Button Standard because customers and National Grid alike will reap the benefits. It will be exciting to see how Green Button Connect enrollees and their interactions with authorized third parties will drive new energy efficiency initiatives and other programs, all based on data that they’ll have available at their fingertips.”
New certification paves the way for easier adoption of climate-change fighting technologies
Two days ago, the Green Button Alliance (GBA) certified the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Data Hive as Green Button Connect (GBC) Retail Customer compliant. The SVCE Data Hive, built by UtilityAPI, is the first GBC in the world to obtain this certification.
In 2019, the GBA published the Retail Customer update, an addition to the standard that had long been discussed within the industry. Retail Customer provides for the secure sharing of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) — information linking specific meters to the data. This update, along with other updates to streamline the customer authorization process, paved the way for the more widespread adoption of the GBC standard that is now underway across the United States and Canada.
The previous version of the GB standard called for the exchange of anonymous usage data. Someone requesting the data could download, for example, intervals for 20 meters. But they wouldn’t know which meter went with which intervals. Thus, anonymity and usefulness were at odds, with the latter taking the short end of the stick. The fully featured Retail Customer standard thrusts the balance back toward usefulness.
UtilityAPI considers the Data Hive to be a “fully-featured” GBC because it offers the features necessary to make an impact on climate change.
“The recognition of the Data Hive as Green Button Connect Retail Customer compliant validates the secure data sharing process that the tool offers,” said Justin Zagunis, SVCE Director of Decarbonization and Grid Innovation Programs. “And having an easy data sharing mechanism in place for both the installer and customer helps our community continue transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean electricity.”
The SVCE Data Hive always offered safe, secure sharing of PII, even before the GBA certified it as compliant with the Retail Customer GBC standard. UtilityAPI built it to do so, as it does for all of its GBC implementations. “SVCE is leading the world in showing what a grid-of-the-future can be. The Data Hive getting GBA-certified reinforces that SVCE's innovations are safe and secure,” says Daniel Roesler, founder and CTO of UtilityAPI.
In 2021, UtilityAPI applied to the GBA for certification of the new standard for the SVCE Data Hive. The Data Hive was first in line for certification when the GBA updated their test suite. After the Data Hive was certified, UtilityAPI’s GBCs for National Grid, Fort Collins Municipal Utilities and Peninsula Clean Energy were certified as Green Button Connect Retail Customer compliant as well. Individuals and businesses that download Data Hive data, or data from any certified GBC implementation, can get useful data that helps them move forward with their climate change-fighting innovations quicker, more easily, and more cheaply.
Following two years of explosive growth and momentum, the Series A funds will be used to revolutionize the energy market by boosting utility data access to generate energy savings at scale.
OAKLAND, CA – UtilityAPI today announced the close of Series A funding with a $10 million investment, led by Aligned Climate Capital, with participation from ZOMA Capital. The new funds will serve to rapidly expand the company’s ability to satisfy the exploding market for utility-level data sharing platforms.
UtilityAPI is the software industry leader in providing secure, standardized, authorized access to utility data. In 2014, Daniel Roesler founded the company to fight climate change by offering a simple, fast, automated solution for sharing utility customer bills and interval data, shared only with explicit customer consent, and revocable at any time. Historically, energy efficiency service providers spent dozens of hours compiling and organizing customer usage data in order to propose appropriate technology solutions; UtilityAPI’s software collects the data in a moment. This time savings streamlines the sales process for clean energy companies, allowing them to provide clean energy solutions faster, and more cheaply. It is estimated that companies using their services prevent about 15 million pounds of CO2 emissions every month.
“Utility API drastically lowers the barriers for deploying energy efficient technologies and the services that rely upon them. These services are the backbone of the future of energy and the energy transition. Without data exchange, this future is not possible,” said Utility API CEO Devin Hampton. “This, coupled with our industry-leading commitment to privacy and security, creates a future we can all trust.”
“Data access shouldn’t be a roadblock to clean energy deployment,” said Aligned Climate Capital CEO Peter Davidson. “UtilityAPI solves this challenge by making it quick and easy for clean energy companies and utilities to share data, while still protecting consumer privacy.”
Aligned and UtilityAPI share a mission to fight climate change. But that’s far from their only synchrony. Both companies have a pronounced interest in diversifying the clean energy sector. Among other factors, Aligned focuses on companies to invest in through the lens of ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) metrics. UtilityAPI is a company led by a diverse leadership team of three people who share no major demographics. In 2020, Hampton, UtilityAPI's CEO, took to social media to hold up a mirror to his industry, writing, “As a clean energy leader and a black man, I often go to conferences and gatherings where I am one of a few, if not the only black person in the room.” He later co-founded Edict, a movement to diversify climate tech.
Since the start of the pandemic, the company has negotiated deals with numerous Investor owned utilities (IOUs), Community Choice Aggregators (CCAs), and Municipal Utilities in the United States and Canada to bring their data sharing platform to millions of customers, third parties and energy efficiency providers.
Our CEO’s take on UtilityAPI’s latest funding round
Fighting climate change has been the mission of UtilityAPI since approximately forever. Data access has been our path, a choice the market has validated. Our pipeline has tripled in the past year. We now cover millions of utility customers. Thousands of clean tech companies rely on our service to offer their climate change-fighting technologies. What we do is critical, and we’re making an impact. Our new investors, Aligned Climate Capital and ZOMALAB, have just committed to help us do it.
UtilityAPI sees utilities as vital partners in building this new future. So this is a great day for utilities. We’re on the cusp of being able to offer every utility our proven, mature technology — a service that positions them at the hub where innovation and the energy transition meet.
It’s also a great day for DERs — all those brilliant, innovative energy efficiency companies that are driving us toward a sustainable future. Good utility data that’s easy to access undergirds every piece of technology we have to fight climate change. When UtilityAPI grows, thousands more businesses large and small across the country gain access to the data we can share, which frees up their time to do more of what they do best — install even more climate-friendly solutions.
I’d like to talk about our new partners, Aligned Capital Partners and ZOMA Capital. These investors share our mission to create a sustainable, equitable future for generations to come. They’ve been easy to work with and deeply helpful, which bodes well for the work to come. Aligned’s representative on our Board will be Nneka Kibuule, who brings her years of experience in the energy ecosystem, as well as her leadership in creating a diverse, more inclusive, and stronger clean tech sector, a goal we have long shared. ZOMA has also given us a new Board member, Bud Vos, with deep experience in distributed energy and the grid. He’s built and sold companies in our space and is a great addition to our team.
From our time in the early days swimming in the stream of ideas with other companies at Powerhouse (thanks for your support Emily!) to our time with the ohana at Elemental Excelerator learning from each other as we went through our cohorts together (shout out to Dawn). I’d also like to recognize Elena Foukes, UtilityAPI’s co-founder and first CEO, for pouring her heart into creating a company that everyone in the industry both loved and relied upon. This company has benefited and grown from the attention of whip smart, powerful women.
Departing Board members Dr. Lara Pierpoint, Diane Levin, and John Powers have each lavished UtilityAPI with their insights and connections within the industry. UtilityAPI is noticeably better and stronger for them. I also want to thank Kyle Cherrick for powerfully evangelizing on behalf of UtilityAPI since the start.
Finally, I’d like to thank the UtilityAPI team. Eight years ago, Daniel Roesler’s vision and hard work brought this company to life. His passion for data access coupled with his deep technical and industry knowledge sustains it. But there would be no UtilityAPI without our COO, Lynne Wander. Lynne came on board to run the company in 2016. She has gone way beyond that. Tapping in to her deep well of empathic, transparent leadership, she has created a microcosm of the world we want to live in — a just, diverse, and inclusive company that attracts great employees, and keeps them (0% turnover since the start of the pandemic…)
Our team is awesome, our advisers, partners, and customers are top notch, and the funding is now in place to have an even bigger impact on fighting climate change. Let’s get to work!
All blog posts are to help UtilityAPI users connect with their customers and successfully collect their utility data.