The Department of Energy has launched the Apps for Energy competition, “challenging developers to use the Green Button data access program to bring residential and commercial utility data to life.” The Green Button is an initiative that gives developers access to energy usage data in a standardized, streamlined and easy-to-understand format. The Green Button will include data on 27 million U.S. homes by the end of the year. The app developers that create the most useful and energy-saving apps will win $100,000 in cash prizes.
Smart-grid technology and energy-saving apps have become a federal government priority. The White house has issued a challenge to utility companies to enable customers to download and compare data on energy use. Opower Corp has come up with a “social energy app” that pools data from 16 utilities nationwide, representing 20 million households to provide users with actionable information for saving energy. The Opower app is available in Facebook to help users find energy savings opportunities through friendly competition and shared information.