DOE Dangles $100K For Home Energy Data Apps

© IBM Research

Are you or is someone you know a green-minded software developer? The U.S. government wants you to help secure the country's energy efficient future via the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) "Apps for Energy" competition.

The challenge here is to build 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 opens on April 5 and will offer $100,000 in cash prizes, courtesy of the Energy Department and its partners. According to the DOE, this initiative is part of the Obama administration's broader efforts to "make government more open and to engage the American people in new ways."

Developers competing in the “Apps for Energy” contest will create apps designed to leverage the data provided through the president’s Green Button initiative, which recently announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers across the country will be providing more than 15 million households with access to data concerning their own energy use.

In the period before the competition officially opens, members of the public are invited to submit their ideas for such apps to apps@hq.doe.gov. Those ideas deemed best will be featured on Energy.gov and help to inspire developers participating in the competition. On April 5, the DOE will release the official rules and begin accepting submissions, which cover 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 this date, an internal review and public vote will take place, with winners announced in late May. Those who take the tops spots in the competition will receive cash prizes equalling, in total, $100,000 from the DOE, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Itron and Gridwise Alliance. The competition is open to all U.S.-based developers and designers who are at least 13 years old, and companies or organizations that are incorporated in the U.S. can also participate. More information is available online.

Tags: Computing | Technology

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