Secretary Steven Chu launches Apps for Energy challenge

Washington, D.C., March 23, 2012 — U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu launched the Energy Department's "Apps for Energy" competition. Apps for Energy will challenge innovative software developers to build new apps — for mobile phones, computers, tablets, software programs and more — that use data from major utility companies to help consumers and businesses use less energy and save money.

The competition will begin April 5, offering $100,000 in cash prizes sponsored by the DOE and interested companies.

Apps for Energy will work closely with the DOE's recently revamped website www.Energy.gov that offers new tools and resources to help consumers connect with the DOE on an interactive information platform.

"Our top priority is to help consumers save money on their energy bills by providing them with easy access to data on how they use energy in their homes," said Secretary Chu. "Apps for Energy will challenge our nation's talented software developers to create apps that provide energy usage data in the most comprehensive and accessible formats."

Developers competing in Apps for Energy will create apps that are designed to make the best use of the data provided through the president's "Green Button" initiative, which announced the participation nine major utilities and electricity suppliers are committing to providing more than 15 million households access to data about their own energy use.

Specifically, as part of Apps for Energy:

· Starting March 23, members of the public are invited to submit their ideas for apps to apps@hq.doe.gov. The best app ideas will be featured on Energy.gov and used to inspire developers who are participating in the competition.

· On April 5, the DOE will release the official rules and begin accepting submissions. Submissions can be 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 the close of submissions, an internal review and public vote will take place.

· Winners will be announced in late May and will receive cash prizes that in total equate to $100,000 and are sponsored by the DOE, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Itron Inc. and Gridwise Alliance.

The president's Green Button initiative, is an administration-led effort with utility companies based on a simple, common-sense goal: provide electricity customers with easy access to their energy usage data in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format via a Green Button on electric utilities' website.

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