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Tuesday May 26th, 2015 5:56AM

Sawnee EMC to participate in federal 'Green Button' Initiative

By Staff
CUMMING - Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) and its customer information service provider, National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), jointly announced that NISC has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development and deployment of "Green Button", a consumer centric energy information sharing approach.

The DOE's "Green Button" initiative is designed to provide electric utility consumers with convenient access to their detailed energy usage data in a common, computer-friendly format, so they can better manage their energy consumption.

As part of the project's scope, NiSC will develop and test various interfaces designed to facilitate the dissemination of "Green Button" formatted energy data, and in doing so, has chosen to collaborate with Sawnee and only one (1) other host utility in the U.S. during this endeavor.

NiSC is to develop processes that will allow utilities, such as Sawnee, to learn how to best address key aspects of the "Green Button" process and more specifically, how to deal with items such as consumer access and use of energy data. They will research the effectiveness of the Green Button data, as well as identify and address the challenges of implementing a standards-based method for accessing a utility's secured billing system.

Sawnee EMC's President and CEO, Michael A. Goodroe, states "we know that our members can make better short term and long term energy usage decisions when they know how much they are using during certain times. Our members want to use their energy dollar wisely and by providing them with this energy usage data, in a convenient format, we know they will."

Sawnee EMC has for more than two years been making detailed energy usage data available to its members, via the Internet and smart phone apps, on a "near real" time basis. This data enables Sawnee members to see where their energy is going and what they can do to conserve.

"We want our members to use only the energy they need" states Blake House, V.P. of Member Services. "When we began placing our members' hourly energy data at our web site and leveraged it to their smart device, it empowered them like never before" he adds. "It was a true industry game changer."

According to Vern Dosch, CEO of NiSC, "We are very pleased to have been awarded the DOE grant. We are also pleased that we will be able to offer the Green Button option to our utility market in a way that extends NISC's platform of products to Sawnee EMC and other electric cooperatives we serve." He further added that "We look forward to sharing product demo information, deployment and consumer education lessons learned, and best practices."

No firm date is currently available for the deployment of Green Button to Sawnee EMC members.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of Energy's "Green Button" program, visit their web site at www.doe.gov/greenbutton.

About the National Information Solutions Cooperative
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. You can find more information about NISC at www.nisc.coop.
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