Ontarians may soon be able to use smartphones to control the electricity in their homes and businesses under a new government project.

The Ontario Green Button initiative — a partnership between the province and the MaRS Discovery District — will figure out how to use the more than 4.7 million smart meters in the province to make customers’ data available on local utility websites.

The information will be available only through a secure download.

“The Green Button initiative is not [about] finding out what everybody else is doing on the block. It’s about your info returned to you in a way that you can use most effectively for what suits you,” Energy Minister Chris Bentley said at a news conference in Toronto on Wednesday.

“Turn off your air conditioner when you’re at work by means of your mobile device? Why not? Reduce the temperature? Why not? Turn up the temperature just before you get home. Why not? … All this can be enabled by software.”

Bentley didn’t say when the digital data — whose format will make it easier for programmers to develop mobile apps — would be available.

The United States Department of Energy launched a similar initiative in January.

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