Last week, the Obama administration launched a new program it is calling the Green Button Initiative. Simply put, the Initiative is a website featuring a large green button. Clicking on the button allows U.S. residents to submit their energy consumption data, which will be converted into an easy to understand format. This data is meant to help people understand how they use energy and suggest ways to help them be more efficient about their consumption.
The Green Button Initiative aims to provide consumers with access to their energy data on par with the access they have to their financial information through online banking. This is the first time consumers have been able to access this data without going through a third party, such as a utilities company. The Initiative is, somewhat ironically, backed by utility energy companies that process the data and convert it into an understandable format. Using this data, consumers can make changes to their use of energy and, perhaps, save money on energy consumption in the long run.
The Obama administration believes that the Initiative is a major step in the right direction toward making America more energy efficient. Efficiency has been at the top of the administration’s priority list for several years now. This focus on energy efficiency is part of the government’s overarching plan to break the country’s reliance on foreign oil and ease the incorporation of alternative energy.