DoE: Providing Energy Resources

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This weekly blog pinpoints huge happenings in the world of Federal government contracting. Check out more on our Twitter account: @RIVA_Solutions. And search our new hashtag, #FedBuzz, for daily updates and join the conversation! Weekly, we, here at RIVA Solutions, like to spotlight government agencies that are leading the way as part of the new social government. We profile the agencies, their public affairs officers, new media directors, web mavens and other gov communicators who give form to the messages that the agencies want to convey. Are you ready to learn about this week’s agency? Read on!

According to Chris Vein, “the open government movement… has emphasized transparency, collaboration, and participation at the Federal, state, and local levels.” Like so many agencies, the Department of Energy is working towards creating a more Open Government through its use of social media efforts. The department has taken their efforts a step further by promoting companies to become more open as well.

The Department of Energy has taken on the task of revolutionizing the way that US Citizen receive their energy statements using the Green Button Data Program. “Green Button is the common-sense idea that electricity customers should be able to securely download their own easy-to-understand energy usage information from their utility or electricity supplier.” – Which makes sense.

How can you expect people to pay attention to their energy bill when it is difficult to understand? Or how can they manage their energy consumption if the only have access to that information when they receive a bill?

Green Button is the solution.  “Green Button is an industry-led effort that responds to a White House call-to-action: provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format via a “Green Button” on electric utilities’ website.”

The Green Button website states that consumers can use a growing array of new web and smartphone tools to make more informed energy decisions, optimize the size and cost-effectiveness of solar panels for their home, or verify that energy-efficiency retrofit investments are performing as promised. I am not sure how many people are ready to invest in solar panels, but the overall goal of making people more aware seems to be a lofty, yet attainable, goal.

The applications that were mentioned are definitely increasing by number. If the program was initiated in January, they already have 213 applications available for users to download. This applications include anything from games, to managing your energy to forecasting your energy consumption. The applications are designed for both your computer and smartphone devices.

The companies that were on board with the program since its release are  Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric – which implemented live Green Button functionality on their websites. Since that time, several companies have committed to implementing the program, including the Metro areas own Baltimore Gas & Electric, Virginia Dominion Power, and PEPCO. A few others have implemented Green Button.

See if your local company is on the list at http://www.greenbuttondata.org/greenadopt.html

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