The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Apps for Energy” competition offers $100,000 in cash prizes in return for building build new mobile and computer software applications that educate consumers about their energy use and provide specific feedback on how they might be able to cut back on utilities like gas and electric and reduce energy costs.
The effort is part of a new, industry-led White House energy efficiency initiative that aims to provide 15 million households with access to their energy use data with the click of an online “Green Button.”
DOE Secretary Steven Chu spoke enthusiastically of the gains that could come from the initiative:
The Apps for Energy competition supports the President’s goals of helping consumers lower their energy costs and increasing public access to data by challenging our nation’s talented software developers to create apps that provide energy usage data in the most comprehensive and accessible formats. 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 DOE competition is accompanied by other tech-savvy companies trying to promote efficiency, including OPOWER, a software-as-a-service company that works with consumers and utility companies to promote energy efficiency. The company recently launched it’s own “social energy app” for Facebook.
As consumers learn more about their own energy use and how to improve it, they may be surprised to learn that many of the energy solutions in our businesses and households today are enabled by products of chemistry.
Just take a look at the ways in which chemistry improves home and vehicle efficiency, and how it can help you save money and energy!
Photo via energy.gov