This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

May 30, 2012

First Winners Announced for 'Apps for Energy' Competition

The Energy Department on May 22 announced the first round of winners for the "Apps for Energy" competition, selected by a panel of judges. App developers submitted more than 50 innovative mobile and Web applications that will help utility consumers save money by making the most of their "Green Button" electricity usage data. Eligible apps included those for mobile phones, computers, tablets, software programs, and more. Popular Choice awards will also be announced after the conclusion of a public voting period on May 31.

Competing developers created apps that are designed to make the best use of the data provided through the Green Button initiative, which recently announced that nine major utilities and electricity suppliers will provide more than 31 million consumers access to data about their own energy use. The winners are sharing prize money provided jointly by the Energy Department and three private-sector cosponsors of the competition.

The grand prize winner for the best overall app was Leafully, a Seattle-based team, which created an app that helps utility customers visualize their Green Button data as a variety of units, such as the amount of trees needed to offset an individual’s energy usage. Leafully encourages users to set energy savings goals and to share their progress on Facebook. The Best Student App Grand Prize was from "wotz," a group of University of California, Irvine, students who submitted an app that lets users explore and play with Green Button data. It provides several games based on the "shape" of data, and offers creative comparisons to illustrate usage. See the Energy Department press release.