SDG&E debuts "Green Button" online energy tracker - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

SDG&E debuts "Green Button" online energy tracker

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - San Diego Gas & Electric Wednesday announced the launch of an online feature that allows customers to track their energy use, and also opened a new center where San Diegans can learn about energy efficiency.

Customers can click the "Green Button" in the "My Account" section of the SDG&E website, and up to 13 months of usage data will be presented in what utility officials say will be a customer-friendly format.

"The Green Button is an exciting step forward that continues to position SDG&E as a trend-setting, forward-thinking utility, and is one of many initiatives designed to offer our customers choice, convenience and control," said Ted Reguly, the company's director of customer programs and assistance.

San Diegans will be able to share the data with third parties for energy use evaluations and other needs.

Utility officials hope the availability of the data will spur computer developers into coming up with new applications and devices.

SDG&E, Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison are among the first utilities in the nation to implement the Green Button concept, which is similar to a "Blue Button" that was created to access healthcare information.

The utility also opened its Energy Innovation Center, a showcase facility in Kearny Mesa where residents can learn about efficiency, alternative fuels, the Smart Grid and clean power generation.

The center includes exhibits on home energy efficiency, drought tolerant landscaping and a commercial food service kitchen where chefs can test their recipes while using state-of-the-art appliances.

The 27,000-square-foot building was remodeled, using 85 percent of its original material. It also features a collection system on the roof to use rain water for irrigation, solar panels that heat water and reduce energy use by 34 percent, and sensors that automatically shut down the heater and air conditioner when windows are open.

The center is open on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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