NISC Awarded Department of Energy Green Button Grant; Working with NRECA's CRN to Benchmark Best Practices for Utilities

LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo., Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), a national software and IT cooperative, has been awarded a grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to deploy a "Green Button" solution.

Green Button is the DOE initiative designed to provide advanced technology that gives consumers convenient, computer-friendly access to their energy use information so they can better manage power consumption.

NISC will focus its Green Button efforts on its SmartHub platform, an integrated software solution that lets utilities offer consumers usage data, real time alerts, secure payments and a communications link to the utility through a website and iOS (Apple) and Android devices.

NISC will collaborate with two electric cooperatives -- Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation of Cumming, Ga., and Kootenai Electric Cooperative (KEC) of Hayden, Idaho -- to address the project's key goals of helping consumers better manage electricity use, and learning the best ways to develop, deploy and promote Green Button technology. The project partners will also explore how to make the solution available to other electric utilities and the ten million households that NISC serves.

According to NISC's CEO Vern Dosch, NISC's SmartHub will use MultiSpeak to interface with the Green Button standard. MultiSpeak is the software standard widely used by electric cooperatives and developed by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and its research arm, the Cooperative Research Network (CRN).

Michael A. Goodroe, CEO of Sawnee EMC, which has offered its consumers real-time, hourly energy data for almost 3 years, said, "Our members want to use their energy dollars wisely and by providing them this data through their smart devices, we know they will."

At Kootenai EC, General Manager Doug Elliott said, "In this project, we will continue to improve how we engage our members to save electricity using technology."

"Our combined efforts will benefit our members and will give us Green Button experience that will be incorporated into our SmartHub platform," said NISC's Dosch. "We look forward to sharing project information, implementation, consumer education lessons and best practices."

About the Project Partners

NISC ( provides its more than 600 utility and telecom members located in 47 states, Canada and the South Pacific a full line of fully integrated enterprise software.

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.

Sawnee Electric Membership Corporation is an electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Cumming, Ga. It provides energy services to 153,000 consumer accounts.

Kootenai Electric Cooperative, Inc. is an electric distribution co-op based in Hayden, Idaho, providing energy services to its 22,000 member accounts.

Jeff Almen