In Focus: Green Button Apps 0

A tsunami of Green Button applications is coming to an iPad, Android phone or computer near you, if you happen to be one of the 30 million or so Americans who has a utility that supports the Green Button initiative.

The Green Button, which was announced last fall, is a feature that allows residential and commercial customers to download detailed energy-use information in a standardized format to better manage electricity consumption and cost.

The U.S. Department of Energy has a total of $100,000 up for grabs for the developers of some of the best apps, which will be judged in the coming weeks by a team of experts.

One of the prizes is a popularity contest based on which app can get the most votes online. There are 55 apps in total, covering everything from assessing rooftop solar PV for your home to small business energy management applications.

There is a range of applications, but there is also an overwhelming amount of overlap. The bulk of the apps allow people to upload their Green Button data to the application and view it in some shiny graph format. A lot of the functionalities, such as getting an alert if your bill or energy use goes over a certain threshold, are increasingly being offered directly through utilities. Also, it is important to note that the apps that are entered into the contest are not the entire suite of apps that leverage Green Button data.

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