WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help consumers save money by saving energy, the Department of Energy’s first-ever “Apps for Energy” competition begins today, offering $100,000 in cash prizes. “Apps for Energy” challenges innovative software developers to build new apps – for mobile phones, computers, tablets, software programs and more – that utilize data from major utility companies to help consumers and businesses use less energy and save money. Today, April 5, the Department released the official rules and began accepting submissions for the competition at http://appsforenergy.challenge.gov.

“The Apps for Energy competition supports the President’s goals of helping consumers lower their energy costs and increasing public access to data by challenging our nation’s talented software developers to create apps that provide energy usage data in the most comprehensive and accessible formats,” said Secretary Chu. “Improving consumers’ access to data about how they use energy in their homes will help them save money on their energy bills and reduce energy consumption.”

Developers competing in “Apps for Energy” will create apps that are designed to make the best use of the data provided through the President’s Green Button initiative, which recently announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers will provide more than 15 million households access to data about their own energy use. Learn more about the announcement HERE.

This competition is part of the Administration's broader efforts to make government more open and to engage the American people in new ways.  “Apps for Energy” will work closely with the Energy Department’s recently revamped website www.Energy.gov that offers new tools and resources to help consumers connect with the Department on an interactive, dynamic information platform.

Newly announced rules and dates for the "Apps for Energy” competition include:

  • Submissions can be for any kind of software application, including apps for the web, personal computers, mobile devices, or any software broadly available to the public. A list of resources for developers is available at /developer-resources
  • May 15 is the last day to submit an app design. Following the close of submissions, an internal review and public vote will take place from May 17 to May 21. The winners will be announced on May 22.
  • Winners will receive cash prizes that in total equate to $100,000. The team that develops the best overall application will win $30,000.  The second place team will win $15,000, and the third will win $7,500. There are also cash prizes available for the best apps built entirely by students, and for the apps that receive the most votes on appsforenergy.challenge.gov during the public contest.
  • A diverse panel will evaluate the apps. The panel includes: Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Department; Karen Austin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company; Sharelynn Moore, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Itron, Inc.; Bill Reichert and Guy Kawasaki, Managing Directors, Garage Technology Ventures; and Aaron Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, HUGE, Inc.

Learn more detail about the “Apps for Energy” competition and see the full list of rules HERE.

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