SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After seeing the potential for customers to save energy and money by downloading personal energy data through its Green Button service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is supporting further industry innovation by sponsoring a nationwide search for the best Green Button energy apps.
The Apps for Energy contest is a partnership with the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. technology firms. The developer finalists who create the winning apps for phones and computers will take home part of a $100,000 cash prize from sponsors PG&E, Itron and the DOE, as well as national bragging rights.
"Green Button will arm millions of Americans with information they can use to lower their energy bills," said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. "Innovative tools like these are good for our economy, good for the health of our communities, and an essential part of our approach toward a secure and clean energy future that works for Americans."
PG&E launched the Green Button in December 2011, responding to a challenge from the White House to design a standard format for customers with SmartMeters™ to download their energy use data online. The Green Button aims to promote personal energy awareness and development of phone and computer apps to aid customers in making informed decisions about their energy use and help them save money on their monthly energy statement. To date, there have been about 220,000 Green Button downloads.
"There is incredible power and potential in providing our customers with new visibility into their energy use, with information that's clear accurate, timely, and easy to use," said Tony Earley, PG&E Corporation's Chairman, CEO and President. "Today's announcement shows PG&E's commitment to stimulating growth and innovation in the developer community. When it comes to energy management, we are driven to help transform the way our customers manage energy in their home."
The DOE has long supported energy innovation, driving a nationwide push for more renewable energy sources and encouraging every American to become more engaged with how they use energy.
"Providing consumers with easy access to data on their energy consumption can help give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their energy use," U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has said. "Developing applications and services to help consumers understand and control their energy use is a field ripe for American innovation."
App developers will be able to participate by registering at challenge.gov and submitting a description, video, photos, and a link to their app. The website energy.gov/developer will be the main resource page for developers. Both sites will go live April 5. Until then, the public can submit ideas for energy apps at energy.gov. The winner is planned to be announced in May.
PG&E customers with an electric SmartMeter™ and a My Energy account can log on at pge.com/myenergy, click on the Green Button icon, and download up to 13 months of their hourly electric usage data. About half of the utility's electric customers – or 2.3 million – are registered with My Energy.
Green Button is one of many energy- and cost-saving benefits available to PG&E customers with a SmartMeter™. Other benefits include:
- Hourly electric and daily gas usage data charts via a secure PG&E website
- Energy Alerts to notify customers when they're approaching a higher-priced electric tier and to encourage a change in their energy use
- Outage detection to help PG&E quickly restore service
- Remote service connection as a convenience for customers
- Special time-varying rate programs like SmartRate™
- Enabling in-home energy management devices that display the energy usage of appliances
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company