Use Case – Streamlining Energy Reporting and Management in Ontario with EZGB: an O. Reg 25/23, and O. Reg 506/18 Review

Written by: Gary Michor (CEO), Screaming Power Inc.


In the dynamic landscape of energy conservation and sustainability, Ontario organizations face the dual challenge of reducing energy consumption while minimizing the cost of electrification to meet carbon reduction targets. Ontario schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, municipalities, and now large private sector property owners must submit utility consumption and facility metrics/variables in an annual report to the Ontario Government (Ministry of Energy) per regulations (O. Reg 25/23 and O. Reg 507/18). 

If the government wants this data for benchmarking and comparative purposes, then it is imperative that all organizations use the same source of truth for their data. The integrity of the dataset is paramount for everyone as we look to compare ‘apples to apples’.

This use case explores how O. Reg 633/21 (commonly known as Ontario’s Green Button implementation) can be used though a data facilitator (an independent third party) to collect energy data to meet regulatory and organizational reporting and sustainability requirements. The regulation requires that the data from Ontario utilities must be the same as made available to utility accountholders in the normal course of the utility’s operations. As the independent regulator of the electricity and natural gas utilities, the Ontario Energy Board, stated the energy data provided through the regulation must be “best available” when each Utility’s Green Button toolset is in operation starting on November 1, 2023. 

Utility Green Button toolsets provide a continuous connectivity to utility billing and metering information. This was required by the Ontario Energy Ministry to:

  1. achieve increased conservation and energy efficiency,
  2. create economic development opportunities, 
  3. enhance process efficiencies, reduce costs, minimize utility customer care efforts, 
  4. enable streamlined energy reporting / benchmarking and support Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). 

Screaming Power provides a SaaS to provide an easy-to-use solution called EZGB (Easy Green Button Connector). EZGB provides the capability to independently gather all energy information in one place, across all utilities (50+ utilities) in Ontario. EZGB is a data hub that consolidates this data from multiple utilities into reusable formats, rather than differing XML formats.  These data formats allow the user to choose from multiple standardized outputs for easy analysis by spreadsheet or through automation (machine to machine connectivity). 

EZGB saves time / effort preparing regulatory reports by providing source of truth energy data from multiple utilities with minimal effort. EZGB also supports organizations in their daily conservation activities by providing ongoing utility data (both meter and billing data), utility engagement support and tools to help manage data auditing/validation. 

Ontario's Reporting Regulations - O. Reg 25/23:

Annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emission Report: Public agencies covered by this regulation are required to prepare and submit an Annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report. The reporting deadline is July 1st each year.  

5-Year Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan

Public agencies must develop a 5-Year Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan. A public agency’s plans are required to include the following: 

  • a report back on forecasted annual and cumulative energy conservation targets from the previous 5-year plan and whether they were met, 
  • report back on measures that were implemented in the previous 5 years to meet their target; 
  • set-out their anticipated measures for each of the 5 future years moving forward calculated annually; and 
  • set-out annual and cumulative energy conservation goals for the next 5 years.

The plan is due every five years (e.g., 2014, 2019, 2024, 2029) on July 1st. 

Use Case for O. Reg 25/23: Navigating Compliance Obligations for the Public Sector 

Scenario: ABC Municipality in Ontario with Multiple Utilities 

Depending on its size and its history, a local municipality may be called a city, a town, or a township or a village. They range in population from a few thousand people to over a million and there are 100’s of municipalities in Ontario. 

Municipality ABC operates large and small facilities. Their portfolio includes office buildings as well as service facilities.  ABC is not receiving up to date or reliable energy information due to limited options in the marketplace. ABC has no steady automated flow of standardized electronic energy data from its 4 utilities which hinders ABC’s ability to leverage/evaluate new energy savings opportunities from the information to make informed decisions. There continues to be manual processes to capture the information, which cannot be relied on due to the potential for manual errors.

The municipality:

  • struggles with gathering, storing, and analyzing source energy data. The organization has a difficult time managing internal resources to create methods to reuse and share this information between its various operational activities, vendors, consultants, and staff.  
  • Is under increased pressure to better manage energy costs, environmental impact and reporting to multiple departments / government entities. The organization needs to meet internal and regulatory requirements through O. Reg 25/23 which requires annual attention. 
  • Grapples with managing regulatory requirements while also dealing with their sustainability initiatives and societal goals. 

Overview on Regulatory requirements.

Annual Reporting: 

ABC compiles data on electricity, heating / cooling, etc. This data is stored internally and in various vendor applications. Consultants are used to address building and departmental needs. 

5-Year Plan: 

ABC Municipality’s 5-year plan includes LED lighting upgrades, HVAC optimization, energy change management / improvements and staff training. 

They need to collaborate on the energy data across separate departments, buildings, and systems to track the information for compliance. 

Access to the “source of truth” data is complicated and costly with manual processes, so ABC does not have confidence in its outputs from existing data sources. 

Stakeholder Engagement: 

ABC engages staff, community members, software vendors, and consultants in energy sustainability and reporting.  Once posted to the Government site, the data is available to the public. 

Benefits from EZGB utility data access service through a centralized Cross-Utility Green Button Interface  

Thanks to the availability of EZGB, ABC no longer needs to deal with managing energy data flow from 5 different Utility Green Button systems that are evolving. EZGB maintains communications with all Ontario utilities’ Green Button systems and deals with this information by supplying ABC with an easy-to-use platform that manages this data and provides a consistent data format for utility information.   

ABC depends on EZGB to save / store the source of truth data for archiving while permitting a constant flow of digitized energy data (both billing and meter data) to ABC and their authorized partners with a few clicks.

ABC now gets updated data when any of the 4 Utilities makes any changes to their metering and bill information which is also easily shared to whoever ABC authorizes.  By providing a cross-utility platform that supports energy data sharing, new technologies and analyses can be readily/accurately evaluated against a reliable baseline to manage ongoing cost reduction/energy efficiency initiatives.  

ABC uses EZGB (directly and through third parties that ABC authorizes) to gain access, store, and retrieve up to 2 years of historical data while collecting data on a daily basis to track energy usage. 

ABC outsources (through EZGB) energy data retrieval and storage. 

EZGB has tools to validate source of truth from multiple utility sources and these tools are constantly evolving as part of the SaaS.  Screaming Power continues to provide new features as part of the EZGB SaaS to help ABC control data quality. 

Once configured, EZGB can provide an optional data export service that connects directly to the Government’s reporting system (i.e., Portfolio Manager), reducing the headache to be compliant and simplifying the annual submission process. 

Screaming Power engages with Universities and other partners to research, understand and validate energy data issues.  Screaming Power is an energy data expert that provides an impartial review of Utility data delivery services.

O. Reg 506/18 

Navigating Compliance Obligations for the Private Sector – A More Programmatic Approach 

O. Reg 506/18 applies to large property owners with properties of 50,000+ square feet under Ontario’s Electricity Act. This regulation mirrors the public sector regulatory reporting but specifically targets privately held real estate.  

Scenario: XYZ Corporation is a multi-building owner in Ontario that has to collect and manage energy data from with multiple Utilities.   

Use Case Scenario: XYZ Private Entity Owning Multiple Properties 

XYZ owns multiple properties exceeding 50,000 square feet and utilizes many utilities for energy distribution and payment. XYZ faces the administrative challenge of tracking energy consumption across their various facilities and utilities that may change over time due to portfolio changes. XYZ must manage their properties as a for profit / cost center while dealing with the changes within their market and the economy. XYZ needs to quickly adapt to new opportunities, track savings and manage operational issues with a flexible energy data platform that can change over time and quickly adapt to new sustainability opportunities. 

Difficulties with Data Aggregation across Utilities: 

Energy data serves as a source of truth for multiple activities within XYZ that is now managed by several parties. When data becomes available from any of XYZ’s utilities evolving Green Button toolsets, the goal is for it to be available and delivered to any of their authorized parties (e.g., allowing their energy consultants to retrieve necessary data for green technology opportunity evaluations) but siloed systems impede interconnectivity. 

Near Real-Time Monitoring: 

Abnormal energy consumption was detected late after an incident, but XYZ was still prompted to investigate to make necessary repairs/adjustments. The lack of more real-time data impedes troubleshooting and causes delays to resolve issues.

Benchmarking / Baselining: 

Benchmarking is difficult when new methods for analysis are introduced by the market and governments as the source of truth data and data updates are not available.   

Efficient Reporting: 

Compliance with O. Reg 25/23 is a small part of cost reduction needs. Maintaining data integrity becomes more important when it is being used as an accurate evaluation instrument. 

Government Reporting System: 

The regulation requires yearly reporting into a government-authorized system. 

XYZ submits building details and yearly results manually. 

The free energy benchmarking tool in Canada run by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) provides monitoring of energy use, GHG emissions, and water and waste consumption for commercial and institutional buildings but it takes time and manual effort to ensure the data is up to date and maintained which impedes system accuracy and reduces the opportunity for XYZ to use the benchmarking tool for internal use. 

Archiving for Auditing: 

ABC must store the data it uses for analysis and reuse. Source energy data must be managed as it serves as a source of truth for auditing and tracking for corporate and regulatory compliance. 

Use Case Benefits 

The Private sector receives all the same benefits of Use Case ABC. EZGB delivers added features to an agile, private organization due to the flexibility of the solution and its continuous updates through the SaaS. 

Key Benefit: With EZGB, there is no need to maintain connectivity to each of the Utility’s Green Button systems that are still evolving. Also, each of utility’s customer support systems and capabilities are very different. EZGB eliminates the need for XYZ to deal with each utility’s customer support and different capabilities.

EZGB keeps source data available for future reference, allowing XYZ to adapt to the ever-changing world of sustainability innovation. 

EZGB is used to access and control utility data collection across all utilities in one place and connects within minutes, XYZ retrieves historical data for electricity, natural gas, and water usage (if available from the Utility). When connected to EZGB, XYZ receives ongoing updates, providing actionable insights.

With EZGB’s data output tools, XYZ can generate accurate monthly reports from digitized billing and metering data independent of the analysis tool used (spreadsheets or software tools). This enables proactive measures and opportunities to explore greening and sustainable while still meeting compliance with O. Reg 25/23. 

XYZ’s interaction with data becomes effortless while maintaining data integrity. 

Through EZGB, the data can also be easily integrated into new or existing technology and provided to various advisors and consultants. 

When connected to EZGB, XYZ receives ongoing updates, providing actionable insights into operational energy activities.  This enables proactive measures and opportunities to explore greening and sustainable technologies. 

Continuously provided data from the Utility through one source, allows XYZ to create an unbiased source of truth for all energy and GHG activities. 

Realistic energy reduction targets are set based on independently validated data from EZGB. 

EZGB: Simplifying Energy Data Access – What Is EZGB? 

EZGB, developed by Screaming Power, serves as a powerful tool bridging the gap between energy utilities and energy users. It enables simple and controlled access to energy data for whoever the energy user chooses. Let’s explore its features: 

Green Button Integration: 

EZGB leverages the Green Button initiative (Regulation 633/21), providing seamless access to billing and metering information from over 50 Ontario utilities. By eliminating the need for manual data collection or maintaining a connection to multiple utilities’ evolving Green Button systems in Ontario, EZGB reduces costs, improves energy data accuracy and accelerates the energy reporting and innovation process, providing a straightforward process for data delivery in one format. 

Streamlined Data Retrieval: 

Organizations using EZGB can retrieve energy consumption data with just a few clicks. 

Whether it’s electricity, natural gas, or water usage (although very few utilities currently provide this feature in Ontario), EZGB centralizes the information, making it accessible and actionable. 

Effortless Auditing: 

Auditing energy data is crucial for identifying anomalies, optimizing usage, and detecting inefficiencies. EZGB’s user-friendly interface simplifies auditing and data delivery, empowering organizations to make informed decisions. 


EZGB is an easy-to-use service that assists with energy conservation and sustainability. By streamlining access to validated energy data from all Ontario’s 50+ utilities’ evolving Green Button systems in one simplified process with standardized output formats, EZGB lets you focus on meeting your conservation/sustainability targets and minimizing the time spent on regulatory reports.  If you have discovered inconsistent or unreliable energy data in the past, Screaming Power is also at the forefront of researching and independently validating source of truth energy data and has a toolset to perform this reliability analysis.  

The Screaming Power team collaborates with utilities to continually evaluate and enhance the source of truth energy data. Whether it’s a simple button click or rigorous regulatory reporting, the goal remains the same: a greener, more sustainable future with energy data integrity as the cornerstone of decision-making, whether through spreadsheets, machine learning, or AI. 

EZGB is not a replacement for expert advice on creating energy plans or analysis.  EZGB simplifies the process to retrieve and validate the data you need independent from the source of truth (the energy Utility). 

Note: The information provided is based my experience in digitizing data in Ontario.  The Official government sources and content extracted in this paper must be reviewed independently for the precise regulatory details applicable to your situation. Please refer to the official regulations or consult legal and or market experts. 

About Screaming Power

In 1998, the principle of Screaming Power was an adviser for the integration of the transition from the CMO to the IESO in Ontario.

In 2002, the principle of Screaming Power was the business architect of the legacy system that passed utility settlement data between over a 100 Ontario Utilities and energy retailers. 

In 2008, the principle of Screaming Power was the key business consultant for the delivery of a FERC infrastructure that moved generators and market operators in the US off paper-based reporting to electronic based reporting and worked with most market operators in the US at achieve there regulated reporting goals.  

In 2015, Screaming Power was one of the first parties to test a Green Button Pilot for meters that was operated by an Ontario Utility on this technology.

In 2016, Screaming Power was one of the first solution providers to provide Energy Utilities’ mobile-based customer portals that provide billing and metering information directly from Utilities’ Sources of Truth.

In 2018, Screaming Power was the Consultant for the Ontario Ministry of Energy on the regulation, implementation, and rollout of digitized energy data (Green Button) in Ontario.

In 2021, Screaming Power and the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) established a Green Button industry-led working group (GB IWG (Independent Working Group)) as suggested by members of the OEB’s Green Button Task Force that Screaming Power sat on. 

In 2022, Screaming Power’s CEO became Co-Chair of the GB IWG through peer voting and continues to Chair this Group equating to thousands of volunteer hours. 

In 2023, Screaming Power assisted several Utilities including the largest ones in Ontario in implementing and testing their Green Button Toolsets and continues to do so. This testing and evaluation created what is now known as EZGB, which is already utilizing a 3rd generation technology stack to assist the Ontario market to manage Utility, customer and third-party data access.

In 2024, Screaming Power began operating the Green Button Ontario website where Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Best Practices from the OEB (Ontario Energy Board) IWG meetings are searchable for public use.

Main Source of References: 

Other Sources 

  1. Guide to energy and water reporting | 
  2. Publications under Part – 
  3. Broader public sector energy reporting | 
  6. Conservation for public agencies | 
  7. Regulatory Compliance | LHSC 
  8. Law Document English View | 
  9. Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use, O Reg 506/18 
  10. Law Document English View | 
  11. Energy and Water Reporting and Benchmarking
  16. Screaming Power – EZGB: Empowering the Future of Energy Management11 
  17. Green Button software – EZGB: Empowering the Future of Energy … 
  18. EZGB Green Button Connector – Screaming Power 
  19. Digitization: Banking, Telecommunications, and now Energy Data 
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