Santa Clara, CA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- May 24, 2012 - The winning app in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Apps for Energy competition has been named from the Seattle-based Leafully, winning its creators $30,000.

In second place was Melon from the DC-based startup Melon Power (winning $15,000), followed third by New York-based cleantech company Zerofootprint’s VELObill ($7,500).

The best student app was adjudged to be Wotz, from a team from the University of California, Irvine ($15,000). In second place was Budget it Yourself from students at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art ($7,500).

The Apps for Energy competition was launched in March with $100,000 in prizes to spur the development of applications to help electric consumers make the most of their Green Button usage data.

The Leafully app helps utility customers to visualize their Green Button data as a variety of units, such as the amount of trees needed to offset their energy usage. Trends and charts show users how decisions in their lives make an impact.

Leafully is activated via a Facebook login and users are encouraged to set energy savings goals and to share their progress on Facebook.

Melon describes itself as the first company to utilize Green Button data to simplify the process of obtaining an ENERGY STAR benchmark for commercial buildings. The app uses Green Button to evaluate the energy performance of commercial buildings and deliver an ENERGY STAR score and next steps.

The VELObill app is aimed to help makes it easier for utility customers to view their energy usage, measure whether it is high or low, and compare it to that of their peers. With this information in hand, users can create an energy saving action plan tailored to their individual needs and preferences.

The Wotz app enables users to explore and play with Green Button data via games, and it provides creative comparisons to illustrate usage, like how many cheeseburgers worth of energy you used last Tuesday from 5-6 pm.

The Budget it Yourself app aims to help users track their energy usage and make energy savings goals.

Voting for the best Popular Choice and Peak Energy Usage apps is under way and the winners will be announced on June 6.