Lisa Thompson, MPP for Huron-Bruce, and Bill Walker, MPP for BruceGrey-Owen Sound, joined Energy Minister Todd Smith and Westario Power on Friday, February 25th, for a preview of the new Green Button data that will allow families and businesses across Huron, Bruce, Grey and Perth counties to track and control their energy use and save money on monthly bills.
“I’m pleased to announce that Green Button is coming to homes and businesses across our region. Giving local consumers access to their real-time energy consumption data means they can take immediate steps to reduce their energy usage, reduce their environmental footprint and save money all at the same time,” said MPP Thompson.
“I congratulate the Westario team on being an early adopter of Ontario’s Green Button technology. Access to energy data will empower local consumers to monitor and manage their energy usage, make smarter decisions and reduce their monthly bills,” added MPP Walker.
“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, quick and secure 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.”
“Many families and businesses are looking for ways to reduce energy costs,” said Randy Pettapiece, MPP for Perth-Wellington. “This initiative will give them another tool to do that.” Studies have found that access to energy data, which Green Button along with smart home devices enables, can help consumers achieve energy savings of up to 18 percent. Ontario becomes the first province in Canada to mandate the standard.
“Today’s announcement marks a significant milestone at Westario Power,” said Jenny Alfandary, President and CEO of Westario Power. “We made a strong commitment to modernizing our business and in creating a solution that empowers consumer choice, customers can reduce electricity costs so they can put their hard-earned money to work for them. Small and large businesses will also be able to use their consumption data to make strategic decisions focused on reducing costs and driving revenue.”
The implementation of the Green Button standard comes as the Ontario government celebrates one year of providing consumers with Customer Choice rates. As of November 1, 2020, most families, small businesses, and farms can select either a time-of-use (TOU) or tiered billing structure for their electricity usage.
Over the past year, more than 280,000 Ontario electricity customers have used this choice to better manage their electricity bills by switching their pricing plan to one that is a better fit. Green Button provides families and businesses the information they need to better understand their energy use so they can make an informed decision on which price plan is right for them, helping them to lower their energy bills.
Green Button first became available in 2012, and prior to the new regulatory requirement, offering it to customers was voluntary in Ontario for electricity and natural gas utilities.
In 2015, London Hydro became the first Ontario utility to provide Green Button to their customers. Since its launch, 160,000 electricity and 106,000 water London Hydro customers have utilized Green Button.
When choosing an electricity billing structure, if a customer limits their consumption to non-peak hours, during evenings and weekends, TOU pricing may be their preferred rate plan. If customers consume most of their electricity during weekday hours, tiered pricing may be a better option for them.
Energy customers in Ontario who are served by utilities that have fully implemented Green Button have access to a wide range of applications that are tailored to their individual needs. As more utilities in Ontario implement Green Button, new applications are expected to be developed to serve all types of customers, including residential, commercial, and industrial energy users.