This App Puts a Price Tag on the Energy You Squander
Last month, GOOD held a Hacking Energy Culture hackathon at Maryland Institute College of Art, aimed at generating new ways to interface with energy consumption, waste, and preservation. This solution, from teammates Noah Boyle, Christine Brown, Maria Chimiskyan and Bryan Connor, received the people's choice award.
When it comes to energy use, changing our behavior is no easy task. We watch stirring documentaries, worry about toxic power plants, and try to calculate our carbon footprint, but at the end of the day we are set in our electrical ways.
What’s On is a new app that helps reduce electricity use by speaking in a language everyone can understand: money.
The app makes you aware of the direct cost of the energy you're using by letting you track the appliances that are turned on or plugged in at home. Push notifications ask you "What's On?" and, with an easy to use checklist, you can watch your estimated energy bill drop in real time.
The app also helps tackle vampire energy by revealing the power consumed while appliances are plugged in but aren't in use. Many products constantly use energy in order to turn on faster but, over time, some use more energy in standby mode than in the short time they're actively being used. According to the Energy Information Administration, vampire energy costs U.S. consumers more than $3 billion a year and can be up to 25 percent of your energy costs.
Conceived during the 24-hour GOOD energy hackathon, What's On seeks to help people reduce the amount they spend on electricity by making them aware of their energy habits. The energy use snapshots collected by the app paint a bigger picture of your progress over time. This data is visualized within the app and available to share with friends via social networks.
Using electricity price data APIs from Genability and location data from the device, the app has the potential to be quite accurate in estimating your monthly bill. Further in the future, What's On could leverage new technology and partnerships to turn objects off remotely from wherever you're using the app.
The team behind What's On is actively looking for iOS developers who want to help make the app a reality. If you've got the skills you can get in touch with the team at email@example.com.
Challenge a neighbor to GOOD's energy smackdown. Find a neighbor with a household of roughly the same square footage and see who can trim their power bill the most. Join the conversation at good.is/energy.