To further the Obama Administration’s goal of helping consumers reduce energy consumption and lower their power bills, United States Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu announced the DOE’s inaugural Apps for Energy competition. The initiative invites innovative software developers to build new apps, including for mobile phones, computers, tablets, and software programs, which use data from utility companies to help individuals and businesses conserve energy and save money. The competition begins April 5, and will give out $100,000 in cash prizes.
The contest reflects the White House’s goal to make government more accessible and engage the American public. Apps for Energy will work closely with the Energy Department’s recently revamped website www.Energy.gov, which features new tools and resources so consumers can interact with the Department via an interactive information platform.
Secretary Chu notes: “Our top priority is to help consumers save money on their energy bills by providing them with easy access to data on how they use energy in their homes. Apps for Energy will challenge our nation’s talented software developers to create apps that provide energy usage data in the most comprehensive and accessible formats.”
Developers who compete in the contest are asked to create apps designed to make the best use of the data provided through the President’s Green Button initiative, for which nine major utilities and electricity suppliers are providing more than 15 million households access to their consumption data.
The DOE will release the official rules, and begin accepting submissions, on April 5. The final day to submit an app is May 15. After an internal review a public vote will take place. Winners will be announced in late May and will receive $100,000 in cash prizes. The contest is sponsored by the Energy Department, Pacific Gas and Electric, Itron, and Gridwise Alliance.