New Apps for Energy Consumers
Ontario Announces Winners of the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge
The province has announced the six winners of the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge. The innovative new apps will help Ontario families and businesses better understand and manage their electricity use.
The award winners are:
- Gold Award and People's Choice: Wattson was the favourite of the judges and online voters. This app provides users with a personal Energy Butler, who tracks electricity use to find savings and shows users how their daily actions affect their overall consumption.
- Silver Award: Beckon helps users track their electricity use and spending, and allows users to set spending reminders and time-of-use alerts.
- Bronze Award: Energy Tipper uses creative photos to remind users about time of use pricing. These friendly reminders are a great way for consumers to engage with their energy usage.
- Best Student App: Wattermelon lets consumers anonymously compare their electricity use with their neighbours. Users can create personal goals and collect points for reducing electricity use.
- Best App Created Outside of Ontario: UnPlug Stuff helps users find ways to reduce their electricity use by identifying phantom power in their home. Phantom power is electricity used by electronic devices that are plugged in but not in use.
Launched in partnership with MaRS Discovery District, the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge offered $50,000 to support the best new apps developed to use electricity data collected by smart meters. The new apps will empower consumers to make informed decisions about their energy consumption and to help consumers make decisions that will save them money.
Supporting energy innovation is part of the Ontario government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.
- Winning apps may be used as part of an upcoming pilot with London Hydro and Hydro One later this year. This testing phase will allow participating customers to automatically connect their data with Green Button apps.
- The challenge launched on Oct. 1, 2013 and concluded Jan. 21, 2014.
- A panel of industry experts judged and selected the apps for the other awards: Gold ($20,000), Silver ($10,000), Bronze ($7,500), Best Student App ($5,000) and Best App Created Outside of Ontario ($5,000).
- The challenge received 27 submissions: 24 from Ontario and three from the United States. Six of the apps were created by university and college students.
- There were almost 700 online votes from Feb. 3 to 17 for the People’s Choice Award ($2,500).
- The challenge is a part of the Green Button Initiative, which is a standard for electricity data across Ontario. The initiative is providing consumers with easier access to their own electricity data and will allow them to securely share their data with mobile and web-based apps.
“Ontario is proud to support the development of these new innovative apps. I would like to congratulate the winners and all participants in the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge. These apps will help Ontario households and businesses better understand and manage their electricity use.”
“I would like to personally congratulate the winners of the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge, and thank all those who submitted their ideas. The creative solutions put forward point to the growing market opportunity for technologies that will help us manage our energy use at home and beyond. MaRS is committed to continuing its partnership with the Government of Ontario along with key players in the public and private sectors to ensure Canadians are at the forefront of energy innovation, globally.”
“The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge provided our team a unique opportunity to create a mobile application that will help promote energy saving practices. Our team was able to create an innovative energy butler, Wattson, who caters to homeowners and small businesses by analyzing their electricity use. Wattson can crunch the numbers and provide Ontarians with easy-to-understand information and visuals gain a better understanding of their electricity consumption.”