WASHINGTON, D.C. – As part of the Obama Administration’s efforts to help consumers save money by saving energy, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu launched yesterday the Department’s first-ever “Apps for Energy” competition.  “Apps for Energy” will challenge 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. The competition will begin April 5, offering $100,000 in cash prizes sponsored by the Energy Department and interested companies. This new initiative 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.

“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,” said Secretary Chu. “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 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 today announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers are committing to providing more than 15 million households access to data about their own energy use. Learn more about the announcement HERE.

Specifically, as part of "Apps for Energy:"

  • Starting today, members of the public are invited to submit their ideas for apps to apps@hq.doe.gov. The best app ideas will be featured on Energy.gov and used to inspire developers who are participating in the competition. Learn more HERE.
  • On April 5, the Department will release the official rules and begin accepting submissions. Submissions can be any kind of software application, including apps for the web, personal computers, mobile devices, or any software broadly available to the public.
  • 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.
  • Winners will be announced in late May and will receive cash prizes that in total equate to $100,000 and are sponsored by the Energy Department, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Itron Inc., and Gridwise Alliance.

Learn more detail about the “Apps for Energy” challenge HERE.

The President’s Green Button initiative, is an Administration-led effort with utility companies based on a simple, common-sense goal: provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format via a “Green Button” on electric utilities’ website. Learn more about the initiative HERE.

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