The Energy Department continues to sponsor hackathons throughout the US in partnership with its Presidential Innovation Fellows to introduce its public API and the use of “green button” usage data increasingly being made available by energy utilities.
According a post from Energy’s CIO, Bob Brese, on the department’s website, hackthons this year have taken place in Washington, DC, San Diego, Valley Forge, PA, Boston, and Los Angeles as part of the second contest of DoE’s American Energy Data Challenge (http://energychallenge.energy.gov/), which aims to expose the tech community to the department’s available datasets, as well as data standards and tools.
The winner of a recent hackaton held in Washington DC, for example, used Green Button data to map home energy use onto the Zillow.com real estate database to show energy use of home listings. The contests carry a small monetary award and largely result in bragging rights for the winners. Beyond that, they also enlist technologists in helping encourage more efficient energy use while driving innovation, which is part of DoE’s mission.
Federal agencies are increasingly hosting competitions and crowdsourcing solutions. In this case DoE is organizing the Energy Challenge contests on theIdeaScale platform: http://ideascale.com/pricing