Apps for Energy Challenge

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“The Apps for Energy competition supports lowering energy costs 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.”

The U.S. Energy Department’s Apps for Energy competition is offering $100,000 in prizes to software developers for the best new apps that help utility customers make the most out of their Green Button electricity usage data. Green Button is an open standard for sharing electricity data that is available to millions of utility customers, so mash it up with other public data sources to help homeowners and businesses take action, understand their usage and make better-informed decisions.[1]

Entering the Competition

1. Visit Apps for Energy and click “Sign Up” to create a ChallengePost account, or click “Log In” and log in with an existing ChallengePost account.

2. Register your interest in participating by clicking “Accept this Challenge” on the Competition Website in order to receive important Competition updates. Registration is free. No purchase necessary.

3. After you sign up on, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. Use the confirmation email to verify your email address. As a registered Contestant, you will then be able to enter the Competition by submitting an application that conforms to the requirements set forth herein (each, a “Submission”).

4. Explore the Green Button data and other resources available at

5. Create a working Software Application (the “Application”) that uses Green Button data. While not required, it is recommended to use other third-party data in combination with Green Button to enhance the usefulness of the App for users.

6. Between 2:00 p.m. ET on April 5, 2012 and 8 p.m. ET on May 15, 2012, visit and confirm that you have read and agree to the Official Rules, and submit your application by including: a) a link to your Application; b) a video of your Application to demonstrate navigation and functionality; c) a text description of your Application; and d) at least one photograph of your working application; e) optionally, submissions may include sample Green Button data to be used when judging the submission. [1]

Deadlines for Submission


  • Submission period: The app submission period is from April 5th to May 15th.
  • Judging Period: The judging period is from May 16th to May 21st.
  • Public Voting: The public voting period is from May 17th to May 21st.
  • Winner Announcement: The Winner will be announced on May 22nd at 9 am EDT.


  • Best Overall Application - Grand Prize: $30,000
  • Best Overall Application - Second Place: $15,000
  • Best Overall Application – Third Prize: $7,500
  • Student Award – Grand Prize: $15,000
  • Student Award – Second Prize: $7,500
  • Popular Choice Award – Grand Prize: $8,000
  • Popular Choice Award – Second Prize: $4,000
  • Peak Energy Usage Award: $6,000


Judging Criteria

Potential Impact: Each submission will be rated on the strength of its potential to help individuals, organizations, and communities make informed decisions about their electricity use.

Creativity and Innovation: Each submission will be rated for the degree of new thinking it brings to applications for the energy sector, and the creativity shown in designing for impact.

Implementation: Each submission will be rated on its user experience and interactive capabilities. Preference will be given to applications that are easily accessible to a range of consumers, including those with disabilities.

Use Green Button Data: Each submission must make use of Green Button electricity usage data. You can combine these data with other data sets, but if your app doesn't use Green Button data, it will be disqualified.

Resources on OpenEI

Apps for Energy Partners

Itron is a provider of energy and water resource management solutions for nearly 8,000 utilities around the world. They offer electricity, gas, water and thermal energy measurement and control technology; communications systems; software; and professional services, and are in 130 countries.

GRID21 is a nationwide initiative to increase energy awareness and encourage smarter, more efficient usage by Americans. Their goal is to bring best practices to the energy grid leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions, decreased costs and lowered dependency on foreign oil.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, incorporated in California in 1905, is one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, the company is a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation.


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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Apps for Energy Challenge
  2. Developer Resources