US DOE: Calling Developers to Create Apps For Energy and Win Big!

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The Energy Department’s first ever Apps for Energy competition challenges American developers and the tech community to build apps that help consumers get the most out of their utility data, save money and energy.

Cleanweb is booming and is a promising way to save energy at a scale that is pertinent today to fight climate change, rising power rates and power shortages. How can you get on the cleanweb bandwagon? Developer competitions like the Cleanweb Hackathon are a perfect platform.

A critical aspect to developing killer apps is access to data, and the Department of Energy (DOE) is helping that with the “Green Button” an open standard for sharing electricity usage information.

What is the Green Button? And why is it important?

Green Button provides millions of utility customers with easy access to a downloadable copy of their electricity usage data. Nine major utilities and electricity suppliers will commit to providing more than 15 million households access to data about their own energy use with a simple click of an online “Green Button.”  By providing consumers with secure, easy-to-understand information about how they are using energy in their households, Green Button can help them reduce waste and shrink bills.

Apps for Energy

The DOE ‘s is calling all developers to mash-up Green Button data with other public data sources to create innovative, energy-focused apps. Submissions can be any kind of software application broadly available to the public — including apps for the web, personal computers, and mobile devices.

Developers who take on the Apps for Energy challenge have an opportunity to significantly impact the way millions of Americans think about and use their electricity usage data. Building apps that provide insight and useful information into everyday electricity consumption will help empower consumers to effectively manage their energy use in ways that save money and energy.

App submissions will be evaluated by a prestigious panel of judges including:

  • Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Energy Department;
  • Karen Austin, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Pacific Gas and Electric Company;
  • Sharelynn Moore, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Itron, Inc.;
  •  Bill Reichert and Guy Kawasaki, Managing Directors, Garage Technology Ventures; and
  • Aaron Shapiro, Chief Executive Officer, HUGE.

Winners will receive part of a $100,000 cash prize — including $30,000 for the best overall application. Cash prizes are also available for the best student-built app and for the app that receives the most votes on during the public contest.

May 15 is the last day to submit an app. Following the close of submissions, an internal review and public vote will take place from May 17 to May 21. The winners will be announced on May 22.

To sign up for the Apps for Energy competition and review the full list of rules, visit the challenge website at

Resources, FAQ’s and other detailed information about the competition are available at the developer resource page.


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