Arlington, VA.; October 1, 2012 —Two distribution cooperatives, the National Information Solutions Cooperative and the Cooperative Research Network are joining the “Green Button Connect My Data” initiative, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association announced today.
Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy (DOE), National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a technology cooperative, is partnering with distribution cooperatives in Idaho and Georgia to put a co-op spin on the Green Button initiative, a public private partnership to standardize energy data.
By working with Sawnee Electric Membership Cooperative, based in northern Georgia, and Kootenai Electric Cooperative, Inc., based in Hayden, Idaho, to create a standardized format for energy data, NISC and its partners, including the Cooperative Research Network, will open the door for cooperatives to offer their ten million consumer members an array of new energy services, from tools to estimate energy bills for prospective home buyers to energy web portals.
As the local, trusted energy experts for their consumer members, cooperatives have already been exploring technologies to make this data available to their members. The Green Button initiative has the potential to increase the number and quality of tools available.
At the same time, member-owned cooperatives, NISC, Sawnee EMC and Kootenai EC will bring a consumer-focused perspective to the Green Button initiative. In the initial phase of the project, the cooperatives will be soliciting detailed feedback from their members on the energy information, formats, tools and platforms.
NRECA’s Cooperative Research Network will be tracking this effort to evaluate the benefits and challenges of potential Green Button services for cooperatives and their members.
“By extending the value of the Green Button initiative to co-ops, this project can help ensure co-ops will be able to meet their members’ changing expectations,” said John Hewa, vice president for engineering, research and technology services at NRECA. “In addition, the feedback from Sawnee EMC and Kootenai EC members will help us determine the value of these energy services and the level of consumer interest.”
CRN will also ensure the standardized data formats comply with the MultiSpeak™ interoperability standard.
The Cooperative Research Network is the research arm of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the national service organization representing the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives.
NISC is the 45-year old IT and software solutions cooperative providing services to more than 600 rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities and independent telecom organizations located in 47 states, Canada and the South Pacific. It offers a complete and fully integrated Enterprise suite of accounting, customer care, engineering, operations and advance software products and world-class service and support. It has offices in Lake St. Louis, MO, Mandan, North Dakota, Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Shawano, Wisconsin. For more information, www.nisc.coop.