Ontario government and MaRS partner to create Energy App Challenge

Toronto, October 1, 2013 — In partnership with Toronto innovation hub MaRS Discovery District, the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge is offering $50,000 to support the best new apps that use electricity data collected by smart meters. These apps will help Ontario households and businesses manage and better understand their electricity use, so they can make informed decisions and save money.

Ontario’s world-leading investment in smart meters has helped build a powerful and reliable smart grid. Using the smart grid, the Green Button Initiative will empower consumers by providing easier access to their own electricity data and allowing them to securely share their data with mobile and web-based apps.

“The Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge will provide the opportunity to showcase and highlight innovative, new solutions that will drive conservation and consumer energy literacy. MaRS and the Ministry of Energy are working together to position Ontario as a global leader in smart grid innovation,” said Ilse Treurnicht, CEO, MaRS Discovery District.

Developing new apps that encourage smart electricity use will support innovation, one of the three pillars of the government’s economic plan to create jobs and growth and help people in their everyday lives.

“The Green Button Initiative takes the power of the smart grid technology and puts it in the hands of Ontarians. Challenging our province’s talented software developers to create new, innovative apps will improve energy literacy and help the people of Ontario conserve energy and save money on their energy bills,” said the Hon. Bob Chiarelli, Minister of Energy.

Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario said, “This energy challenge is a tremendous example of how openness of data enables innovation and leads to a positive-sum result, while at the same time protecting privacy. It is a true win-win solution for consumers, developers, and energy providers!”

Quick Facts:

  • Submissions for the Energy Apps for Ontario Challenge will be accepted from Oct. 1, 2013 to Jan. 7, 2014.
  • Awards include Gold, Silver and Bronze, Best Student App, Best App Created Outside of Ontario, and People’s Choice.
  • In January 2014, Ontarians will be able to vote for their favourite submission to win the People’s Choice Award. All awards will be announced in early 2014.
  • Smart grid technology uses two-way digital communications to help consumers control their electricity use and costs while ensuring they have reliable power by letting utility companies pinpoint and automatically fix power outages.
  • Ontario has completed its full rollout of over 4.7 million smart meters to homes and small business consumers across the province.

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies. In the last three years, MaRS startup clients have raised over $750 million in capital, earned over $375 million in revenue and hired well over 3,500 workers into knowledge economy jobs.

For more information, please contact:

Melissa Hughes
Manager, Media & Community Relations
MaRS Discovery District
416-673-8100 ext. 2710