I am pleased to announce the winners of the second contest in the American Energy Data Challenge, a year-long, four part initiative designed to amplify open data and encourage innovation. During the Apps for Energy II contest, which ran from January 17 through March 9, we asked the public – innovators, entrepreneurs, students and others – to develop new apps that could help millions of Americans save energy. By the end of the contest, we had dozens of incredible apps submitted from people across the country, and a great panel of expert judges and people from across America voting to choose the popular choice winners in different contest categories. 

Recognizing that people get creative in different ways, we gave contestants the option of collaborating with other developers and designers at a series of “hackathons” that we sponsored in Washington, DC, San Diego, Boston, Philadelphia and Los Angeles. If you’ve never been to a hackathon, it’s an event where people gather to form teams, brainstorm ideas on the fly, and start working on apps and then present their new creations to the group.

Over 300 people gathered at the five hackathons, competing for $2,500 in prizes awarded at each hackathon. A number of participants, in turn, went on to submit their apps to the national contest as well.  Out of the seven hackathon winners who submitted their apps to the national contest, three won – Black Sheep, Home Energy Hunt, and Wattz.

Other winners are as follows:


Best Overall Application:

First Prize: $25,000*

Second Prize: $12,500*

Finalists (In Alphabetical Order):

·       e-lite Power Use Planner

·       enACT

·       Power House – How Clean is Your Shirt?

·       WattBuddy

* Winners of the First and Second Prizes will be announced at an event to be held later this Spring in Washington D.C. Finalists noted above are invited to demo their apps at the event.    

Popular Choice Award ($5,000)

·       Black Sheep


Best Use of the Green Button Standard

·       First Prize ($10,000): WattBuddy

·       Second Prize ($5,000): e-lite Power Use Planner

Best Use of the Home Energy Score Tool API ($7,500)

·       Home Energy Hunt

Best Use of the Commercial Building Energy Asset Score API ($7,500)

·       HomeScore

Best Use of the Buildings Performance Database API ($7,500)

·       Wattz

Best Use of the Energy Information Administration API ($7,500)

·       WattBuddy

Best Use of a Winning Contest #1 Idea ($7,500)

·       e-lite Power Use Planner

Congratulations to all of the winners! And a big thank you to everyone who submitted an app and everyone who voted.

Data and information are invaluable national assets that increase in value when they are made easily accessible to the public. We are only halfway through the American Energy Data Challenge. Stay tuned, and consider sharing your creativity during the next contest – Open Data by Design – that will be launched next month.