Image via Biggest Energy Saver Community

Ready to test your app-developing skills? The Biggest Energy Saver Community (part of a campaign founded by Oncor, CenterPoint Energy, IBM, Landis+Gyr, Itron, GE and San Diego Gas & Electric) is hosting an app developer contest that relates to the Smart Grid.

As the Smart Grid continues to roll out, it will generate a high volume of customer data. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to design an app “that will leverage customer data from the Smart Meter Texas portal in order to create an energy management tool that gives consumers more control over their energy decisions,” according to a contest description.

You can enter individually, as a team of up to 10 or as a company. Entries can be submitted until July 31. On August 1, submitted apps will be used as part of the customer contest that runs until September 30. During that time, Oncor and CenterPoint Energy customers with installed Smart Meters will use the apps.

Per the contest's website, judging criteria includes:

*Average rating as determined by registered users

*Number of individuals who utilized the application

*Most innovative

*Accessibility of application across multiple platforms

*Usability of application to facilitate energy management

Here's the fun part. The best overall application winner takes home $50,000. Category winners will receive $20,000 each, while winners by platform receive $10,000 each.

As hosts of our own Smart Grid-related competition, we think contests are a fantastic idea to not only increase interest in the Smart Grid, but also get some of our country's best and brightest minds thinking about the concept and how it can benefit consumers and utility companies.

So, if video’s your game (along with engineering, of course), check out our Smart Grid Video Contest and get your entry in. And if you’re an app developer, here’s your chance to develop an amazing app and get some serious cash, too.

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With extensive experience in industry policy and advanced technologies applied throughout North America, Mike Beehler is a Vice President at Burns & McDonnell.