The U.S. Department of Energy has launched the Apps for Energy II contest – the second in a four-part, year-long American Energy Data Challenge aimed to promote the creation of new apps designed to address today’s energy challenges and to introduce the public to the data and resources offered by the Department.

The contest, which runs through March 9, will also include a series of “hackathons” in four cities – Washington DC, San Diego, Valley Forge, and Boston – to create venues where people can brainstorm, collaborate, and begin creating their apps.

Submitted apps must use one or more inputs:

  • Green Button standard, which allows consumers to access their energy usage data and securely share that data with third party web and mobile apps
  • Home Energy Score tool, which allows homeowners to compare the energy performance of their homes to other homes
  • Commercial Building Energy Asset score, which allows comparison of different buildings’ as-built energy systems while controlling for differences in building operations
  • The Building Performance database, which enables users to perform statistical analysis on an anonymous dataset of commercial and residential buildings across the country
  • Energy Information Administration datasets.

Apps may also draw on the winning ideas for the first contest, the Energy Ideas Challenge, which ran during November-December 2013. These included:

  • Using existing datasets – a Home Energy Score API for home buyers and renters, an intelligent PV selection tool that takes into account usage, rates and size, a tool to utilize data in the government’s Transparent Cost database, and an online forum for information on financial energy incentives.
  • “Wish list” datasets – leveraging natural gas data with Green Button, community energy use mapping for community scale energy activities, a real time residential energy dataset, and a green energy tracker
  • Killer ideas – residential demand response using smart meters, a residential solar calculator to assess ROI on solar PV, an energy prospecting game to assess renewables solutions in different locations, and a lifestyle assessment reward program.

This second part of the Challenge has $100,000 in prizes, with prizes to be awarded in individual as well as best overall categories.