Apps for Energy Hackathon Coming to a City Near You

Energy-conscious hackers, take note. Apps for Energy, the second contest in the year-long American Energy Data Challenge, is happening now—and $100,00 in prize money is up for grabs. As part of the contest, four hackathons will take place over the next month.

The American Energy Data Challenge consists of four contests launched quarterly over a 12-month period. It is an effort by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to get people to use open data and citizen data in new and innovative ways. The first contest was launched in November. The second contest, Apps for Energy, is underway now.

In Apps for Energy, developers and designers work with one or more of five selected APIs and use data from the DOE to develop apps that solve real-world energy problems. The APIs let you track energy use in homes, buildings and cars. You can use them to create games, energy-use comparisons or guides, and more. The idea is to help individuals and companies become more aware and conservative in their energy use.

You can work on your own or in teams to build an app, but you must submit your application before the end of March to qualify. You don't have to attend a hackathon to enter the contest, but they are great places to brainstorm and find team members for your project.

The hackathons are as follows (click on the links to register):

The prize money is broken down by the API you use (up to $10,000). On top of that, the best overall app wins first prize of $25,000. There is also a second and third prize—and yes, you can win more than one prize for your submission.

Interested in learning more? Visit the website here.

By Amy Castor. Amy is a freelance writer for You can reach her at Connect to Amy on Twitter at @ahcastor

Be sure to read the next Hacking article: Today in APIs: Census Bureau Releases New API Data Sets