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Green Button - Frequently Asked Questions for Consumers

What is Green Button?

Green Button is a data standard that provides energy customers with more choice in how you access your electricity and natural gas data.  With a simple and secure process, customers will be able to securely download or connect (share) their energy usage data in an industry-standard format with registered third parties.

Why is Green Button being implemented in Ontario?

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 access to their data with a goal of better tracking energy use, reducing bills and saving money. 


On November 1, 2021, the Ontario Ministry of Energy announced that electric and natural gas utilities across the province must provide their customers with access to Green Button data no later than November 1, 2023. Read the full news release.

What are the benefits of Green Button data for consumers?

Green Button provides a unified, industry-standard format, which can be used to analyze and manage a consumer's energy usage.  The introduction of Green Button industry-standard data across Ontario utilities will provide the foundation for the development of new tools and applications for customers to analyze and monitor their energy usage to reduce costs.

Below are just a few of the benefits of Green Button data:

  • Improve energy efficiency – Consumers can use Green Button data to identify and compare their energy usage in order to improve energy efficiency within their home or business.

  • Reduce energy costs – By learning their usage patterns and habits, consumers can make informed choices about how much energy they use and when they use it. When consumers use energy during off-peak hours (also known as peak-shaving) and invest in energy-efficient appliances, it saves money and can help reduce strain on the grid.

  • Energy conservation – consumers can use their data to conserve energy to help reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment.

Green Button Data for Residential Customers:

  • Many customers are already viewing their energy data through a customer portal on their utility web site.  With Green Button, third party apps can analyze the data and provide insights to help customers make sense of their energy use and make informed decisions to help reduce costs.

  • With CMD, data is shared on an ongoing basis.  This allows third parties to provide insights and alerts on usage trends and changes.

Green Button Data for Businesses:

  • For customers with a large number of properties across multiple utilities, Green Button provides a standardized format so that the data they receive from each utility is in a similar format.  Green Button third parties in the commercial sector are able to analyze large volumes of data across multiple facilities to provide energy management advice.

  • With CMD, data is shared on an ongoing basis.  This allows third parties to provide insights and alerts on usage trends and changes including monitoring the impact of energy efficiency measures taken.

  • Green Button will also make it easier for facilities to complete mandatory government reporting requirements.

Where can I find more information on Green Button Data?

What is GreenButton Download My Data® (DMD)?

The Green Button Download My Data (DMD) standard allows consumers to select and download their electricity usage data from their energy providers website in an industry-standard XML format; consistent across all energy provider websites. 

How Do I Download my Data?

You can download your Green Button data one of the following ways:

From Customer Connect:

  • Log in to Customer Connect

  • Click the Green Button logo on the main landing screen

  • Select the Download My Data tab

  • Follow the prompts to select the data you would like to download

  • Click Download

  • An XML file containing your selected data will be downloaded

  • This file can be shared with a third party or uploaded to a Green Button app to view.

From the Renfrew Hydro Inc Website:

  • Go directly to the Green Button Portal

  • Enter your required account information to validate that you are the account owner (Note: you will require a recent copy of your invoice)

  • Select the Download My Data tab

  • Follow the propmts to select the data you would like to download

  • Click Download

  • An XML file containing your selected data will be downloaded

  • This file can be shared with a third party or uploaded to a Green Button app to view.

What format will my data be downloaded in?

When you download your data, it will be in an industry-standard XML format.  Please note that XML files are designed to be read and analyzed by computer applications.

Once I have downloaded my data, what can I do with it?

When you download your data, you may choose to send it to a third-party vendor yourself or upload it to an application to analyze.  As Green Button data becomes widely available across Ontario, more third-party solutions and applications will be developed and made available to analyze the data.

What is GreenButton Connect my Data® (CMD)?

The Green Button Connect My Data (CMD) standard, also referred to as Data Shares is the industry standard for securely authorizing and sharing electricity usage data with registered third-party vendors.  With CMD, utility consumers can digitally authorize their usage data to be shared with energy-efficiency applications, clean energy companies, analytics firms, and others, who can view and analyze the data and provide additional insights into managing and conserving resource consumption.


Example 1: If you are considering installing or have installed solar panels on your home or business, you can connect the solar company to your Green Button usage data to analyze the return on your solar panel investment and make informed decisions about future investments.

Example 2: Commercial or industrial customers with multiple locations across different utility territories can access and analyze energy usage data from all sites in a consistently standardized format.

Who can connect (share) their data?

Any active Renfrew Hydro customer can use Connect My Data to authorize third-party data sharing.

Can I still use Connect My Data if I don't have a Renfrew Hydro Customer Connect account?

Yes, while it is highly encouraged that customers create a Customer Connect login, you can still Connect My Data from authorized vendor websites, using a one-time access sign in to the Green Button Portal.

How do I Connect My Data?

Sharing your data starts on the third-party vendor's website.

  • Go to the authorized third-party vendor's Green Button registration web page

  • Complete the third-party vendor data-sharing authorization request form

  • You will be redirect to Renfrew Hydro's Green Button portal to authenticate, verify the data sharing information, review the terms and conditions and authorize data sharing.

  • Renfrew Hydro will then exchange a security token with the authorized third-party vendor which will allow secure, automated data sharing


What third-party vendors can I share my data with?

Data can be shared with authorized third-party vendors that have registered with and been authorized by Renfrew Hydro to use Connect My Data.


What data is shared with the authorized third-party vendor(s)?

When authorizing a third-party vendor to access your data, you will select the type of data you want to share with them and for which account (if you have multiple accounts).  You can select your Energy Usage Data, Billing Data and/or Account Information shared.  Your utility provider will share the type of data you have selected and authorized for that account.


Usage Data

Historical usages up to a maximum of 2 years and/or ongoing meter readings of your meters, which may include interval readings, demand readings and net metering readings where applicable.  Energy usage data includes:

Account Information

Your name, address(es), meter number(s), contact information and other personally identifiable information stored by the Utility.  

Utility Bill Data

Billing periods and individual charges, adjustments and credit lines from your utility bill.  Billing data includes:

How long will my data be shared with an authorized third-party vendor?

When authorizing a third-party vendor to access your data, you select the duration and frequency that you would like to share your data for.

Can I stop sharing my data with a third-party vendor?

Yes, you can stop sharing your data with a third-party vendor at any time.  To do so, simply go to the Data Shares tab within the Green Button portal, select the vendor you would like to stop sharing your data with and click Revoke.

How do I know my data is secure?

Renfrew Hydro has been certified by the Green Button Alliance.  This is the industry standard to ensure compliance with data sharing and security standards.  

Third party vendors must also be certified by the Green Button Alliance to be authorized as a registered vendor.

Before you authorize a third-party vendor, be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions on their website so that you understand how they will use, share or retain your data.

Green Button and the Green Button Logo are registered trademarks owned by Departments of the U.S. Government.

GREENBUTTON CONNECT MY DATA and GREENBUTTON DOWNLOAD MY DATA are registered trademarks owned by the U.S. Department of Energy.

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