Toronto, ON, Canada --- (METERING.COM)

Ontario’s ministry of energy and the MaRS Discovery District have launched the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge with $50,000 to support the best new apps that use electricity data collected by smart meters.

The aim is that these apps will help Ontario households and businesses manage and better understand their electricity use, so they can make informed decisions and save money.

The Challenge forms part of the introduction of a Green Button initiative in Ontario, which was initiated by the province and MaRS Discovery District last November. In the current first Download My Data phase, so far over 50 percent of the province’s electricity customers are able to download their electricity usage data from their utility’s website by clicking on a green button. Utilities that have made Download My Data available to their customers online include London Hydro, Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, PowerStream and Hydro Ottawa. Others that are working toward launching Download My Data in the coming months include Guelph Hydro, Peterborough Utilities, North Bay Hydro, Milton Hydro and Festival Hydro.

In the next phase, Connect My Data, customers will be able to authorize direct, secure transfers of their energy usage data to integrate with web and mobile apps on computers, tablets and smartphones. London Hydro and Hydro One will launch Connect My Data pilots in late 2013.

The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge is for Connect My Data-enabled apps. The winning submissions will be considered for the second half of the Connect My Data pilots in the spring of 2014.

Submissions for the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge will be accepted up to January 7, 2014.

Awards will be made in six categories – Gold, Silver and Bronze, Best Student App, Best App Created Outside of Ontario, and People’s Choice (this latter to be decided by popular vote).