Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge: Win $50000 for Best Apps Using Electricity Data from Smart Meters

This video presents “British Gas – Smarter Living.”

  • This Smarter Living video was commissioned by the British Gas Emerging Technology department to create a vision piece for where the business is heading in the near future.
  • It combines themes such as renewable energy, data and numerous service propositions to create a seamless customer experience and a glimpse into what the future will hold for Smarter Homes.

Green Button Infographic for Ontario, Canada
Green Button Infographic for Ontario, Canada

Based on the United States Department of Energy’s Green Button initiative (2011), Ontario’s Green Button Initiative was established (2012) for using innovative smart grid technology to give Canadian families and businesses direct, timely access to their own energy data through a secure download from their utility’s website.

  • Smart grid technology uses two-way digital communications to help consumers control their electricity use and costs while ensuring consumers have reliable power by letting utility companies pinpoint and automatically fix power outages.
    • Ontario has completed full rollout of smart meters to homes and small business consumers across the province, over 4.7 million in total.
    • The province’s conservation efforts have decreased electricity demand by over 1,900 megawatts between 2005 and 2011 — the equivalent of over 600,000 homes being taken off the grid.

    MaRS Infographic
    MaRS Infographic
  • Using the smart grid, the Green Button Initiative will empower consumers by providing easier access to their own electricity data and allowing them to securely share their data with mobile and web-based apps.

Also, “Green Button data standard” – a common data format for utilities to securely share data with their customers – was implemented.

  • A standard data format for Ontario’s utilities would also encourage app developers to create new tools to help Ontarians manage their energy use from their computers and smart devices.

Ontario’s Green Button Initiative is comprised of the following two phases.

  1. The initial phase is called Download My Data (DMD) and allows customers to download their electricity usage data from their utility’s website by clicking on a green button.
    • Currently, over 50 percent of the province’s electricity customers have access to DMD.
    • The following utilities have made Download My Data available to their customers online: London Hydro, Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, PowerStream and Hydro Ottawa.
    • Several utilities are currently working toward launching Download My Data in the coming months, including Guelph Hydro, Peterborough Utilities, North Bay Hydro, Milton Hydro and Festival Hydro.
  2. The next phase of the Initiative is called Connect My Data, which will allow customers to authorize direct, secure transfers of their energy usage data to web and mobile applications (apps) for their computers, tablets and smartphones.
    • This phase will allow customers to automatically integrate their data with apps, so they don’t need to log in to their utility website to download the file.
    • London Hydro and Hydro One will launch Connect My Data pilots in late 2013.
The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge: The Green Button Allows Ontarians to Access and Share Electricity Data in a Standardized, Secure Manner
The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge: The Green Button Allows Ontarians to Access and Share Electricity Data in a Standardized, Secure Manner

The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge is for Connect My Data-enabled apps.

  • Ontario’s Ministry of Energy is inviting software developers to build new apps that will help Ontarians conserve electricity and save money.
    • In partnership with MaRS Discovery District, the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge is offering in total $50,000 funding which will be awarded to the best new apps that use electricity data collected by smart meters.
    • These apps will help Ontario households and businesses manage and better understand their electricity use, so they can make informed decisions and save money.

Submissions for the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge will be accepted from Oct. 1, 2013 to Jan. 7, 2014.

  • Please submit your Application by 5:00pm Eastern Time on January 7, 2014.
  • Awards include Gold, Silver and Bronze, Best Student App, Best App Created Outside of Ontario, and People’s Choice.
    • Please note the following funding scheme.
      • All funding will be awarded in Canadian dollars.
      • Only Ontario residents may compete for the Gold, Silver, Bronze, Best Student App, and People’s Choice awards.
      • Non-Ontario residents may compete in the Best App Created Outside of Ontario category.
  • In January 2014, Ontarians will be able to vote for their favourite submission to win the People’s Choice Award.
  • All awards will be announced in early 2014.
  • The winning submissions will be considered for the second half of the Connect My Data pilots in the spring.
  • All submissions to the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge that conform to the Green Button standard will be able to work for consumers in Ontario and the United States who have access to Green Button through their local utility.
  • Please click here for more info. and to take the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge.

This video presents “Market Impact of Accessible Energy Data – MaRS Market Insights.”

  • Video duration is 1 hour:26 minutes:29 seconds.
  • Watch a panel examine and discuss the impact of accessible energy data while highlighting the economic impact, market scope and growth potential of the innovation economy that will be created by establishing appropriate standards and mechanisms to allow data to be used in new solutions.
  • Moderator: Ron Dizy, CEO, Enbala
  • Panel:
    • Ron Dembo, CEO, Zerofootprint
    • Carol Stimmel, Research Director, Smart Grid, Pike Research
    • Mike Winters, Senior VP & CIO, Hydro One
  • MaRS — Building Canada’s next generation of global technology companies.

Join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #energyapps.

Good Luck! / Bonne Chance!


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