•   almost 11 years ago

Is there a way to pull GB data from a web service by passing user credentials?

I'm new to this, so please excuse the newbie question.

I'm been trying to figure out if there is any other way to retrieve user specific GB data, other than going to the supplier website, logging in, and downloading the XML (or CSV) file. We are considering a mobile app for this challenge, but we can't have users downloading a file and then importing it into the app. This just makes it too confusing for non-techie users.

We would prefer that they pick their supplier from an available list and then give their credentials to pass into the web service and pull the data in.

So is this even possible with today's suppliers? Unfortunately, my area has yet to implement the smart meters and therefore GB data access.

Thanks in advance!


  • Manager   •   almost 11 years ago

    This is actually one of the most common questions I've gotten since the competition started.

    The short answer is that the Green Button data needs to be downloaded by the user and then uploaded into apps. Although the ESPI standard (on which the Green Button is based) includes third party access, the utilities and electricity regulators have not yet resolved the privacy and security issues around this topic. PG&E's Green Button page provides an overview of these issues: http://www.pge.com/greenbutton/.

    In my opinion, this makes Green Button data best suited for web and desktop applications, and for apps that provide analysis and context for historic usage data, but I'd love for developer to show me more innovative applications.

    I'd encourage you to still consider submitting an app, as this competition presents a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with the standard, and the opportunity to have your work promoted by DOE and supporting utilities may help overcome the barrier presented by the download/upload process.

    Let me know if I can be of any further help.

  •   •   almost 11 years ago

    Matthew, thanks. We're looking into other ways and hope to enter the challenge but have not yet decided. Thanks for your speedy response!


  •   •   almost 11 years ago

    If there is discussion somewhere about the appropriate API to energy data, I would like to suggest that the WattDepot REST API be considered as a model:


    We have been developing this "enterprise" class open source tool for energy data collection, storage, analysis, and visualization for the past several years and using it to build higher level services (such as energy challenges).

    Philip Johnson

  • Manager   •   almost 11 years ago

    Thanks for the link, I hadn't seen that project before. I'll take a look!

  •   •   almost 11 years ago

    your answer above and the rules suggest that for apps to be eligible to participate the data MUST be downloaded & uploaded by the user; what IF we found a way to automate this process and the user just had to supply their username and password to us (along with some authorization/disclaimer etc)? Would that disqualify us?

  • Manager   •   almost 11 years ago

    No, that would not disqualify you. The baseline requirement for submission is that your app use the Green Button data. Using a more sophisticated way to handle the transfer, while still using that data, is fine. Use care if you're planning on handling user login information, though.

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