Official Rules for Contest #2: Apps for Energy II

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Important Dates
  3. How to Enter and Evaluation Criteria Summary
  4. Submission Requirements
  5. Contestant Eligibility
  6. Competition Submission Period and Display of Submissions
  7. Teams
  8. Competition Subject to Applicable Law
  9. Intellectual Property
  10. Copyright
  11. Submission Topic/Theme
  12. Prizes
  13. Judging and Evaluation Criteria
  14. Verification and Publicity of Winners
  15. Additional Terms and Conditions

Introduction:

The U.S. Energy Department's American Energy Data Challenge is a four part Challenge, consisting of four Contests rolling out quarterly over a 12 month period. The Challenge is offering over $100,000 in total prizes. The Challenge allows participants to consider how best to use energy data, describe what type of energy data is needed, build an app, and picture an America with a new, better energy infrastructure that meets our needs for the next 100 years.

Part two of the American Energy Data Challenge is the "Apps for Energy II" Competition ("Competition"). The Competition is aimed at encouraging private sector software developers, designers, entrepreneurs, students, for-profit legal entities and/or non-profit organizations (collectively, "Contestants") to create innovative applications ("apps") that use Green Button and/or Open Data in innovative ways.

This Competition is being administered by the Department of Energy ("DOE") using the Ideascale web platform. Ideascale, DOE, and Grid 21, hereinafter "supporters," are cooperatively working to administer the prizes and Competition. Prizes will be paid to the winners via Grid 21.

The app submission period runs from January 17-March 9, 2014. A panel of judges will select winners in several categories and the public will select a Popular Choice Award winner. DOE will also feature the apps of the winners on the DOE website.

Return to Table of Contents


Important Dates:

  • Submission Period Begins: January 17, 2014
  • Submission Period Ends: March 9, 2014 at 9:00 PM ET
  • Judging Panel and Public Voting Period Begins: March 24
  • Public Voting Period Ends: April 4 at 9:00 PM ET
  • Prizes Announced: Early May, 2014
  • DOE reserves the right to extend the submission, judging and/or voting periods at any time for any reason. Administrator's computer is the official time-keeping device for this Competition.

Return to Table of Contents


How to Enter and Judging Criteria:

  • If you do not have an Ideascale account, visit http://energychallenge.energy.gov and click "Follow the Challenge" to create an account. You will be prompted to create an account by entering your name and email address. After you sign up on the website, a confirmation email will be sent to the email address you provided. Use the confirmation email to verify your email address. As a registered Contestant, you will then be able to enter the Contest by making a Submission that conforms to the requirements set forth herein (each, a "Submission").
  • If you have an Ideascale account, visit http://energychallenge.energy.gov and click "Log In." Enter your Ideascale credentials. You will then be able to enter the Contest by making a Submission that conforms to the requirements set forth herein (each, a "Submission").
  • Explore the featured APIs, standards and ideas provided on the http://energychallenge.energy.gov website (collectively "Featured Inputs"). All submissions must use one or more of these Featured Inputs to qualify for a prize.
  • Create a working Software Application (the "Application") that uses one or more of the Featured Inputs to solve a problem or create value.
  • During the Submission period, visit http://energychallenge.energy.gov and confirm that you have read and agree to the Official Rules. To submit your application, click the "Submit an App" button and provide the following information:
    • Submission title / app name
    • A written description of the app and its key functionality, including instructions on how to install and operate the app, and system requirements required to run the app
    • A link to the app (i.e. the location where the application can be accessed or downloaded)
    • A link to a YouTube video of the app being used which demonstrates its key features and functionality (not longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length)
    • At least one image (i.e. screenshot) of the app being used, included as an attachment
    • Checkmarks indicating which Featured Input (or Inputs) are used by the application
    • Optionally, submissions may include as an attachment a sample Green Button or other input data file to be used when judging the app
  • Submission Rights: a) By submitting the Application to this Competition, you grant to DOE, and the other supporters a royalty-free license to: (i) post your Submission(s) (including the associated text, video and images) on Energychallenge.energy.gov and other Department of Energy and associated sites (i.e. OpenEI.org), and link to the downloadable Application in the online store of the applicable software platform (e.g., iTunes) or, if not distributed through such platform, to your website or other location where the application can be accessed; and (ii) publicize the names of Competition participants (including the individual members of a team) and winners and their Applications through media and events of DOE's choosing. Such license shall remain in force for the duration of the Competition and for a period of one year following the announcement of the Competition winners.
  • Judging Criteria: Submissions (excluding the Popular Choice Awards) will be judged on the following three criteria: (1) Strength of Concept (including originality, and potential to create efficiency, reduce emissions, or grow the economy); (2) Execution of the idea (including user experience, functionality, and design); and (3) Use of a Featured Input (i.e. how well does the application leverage the APIs, standards, and/or ideas listed as a "Featured Inputs" for the contest).

Return to Table of Contents


Submission Requirements:

In order for Submissions to be eligible to win this Challenge, they must meet the following requirements:

  • General - Contestants must provide:
    • A submission title / app name
    • A written description of the app and its key functionality, including instructions on how to install and operate the app, and system requirements required to run the app
    • A link to the app (i.e. the location where the application can be accessed or downloaded)
    • A link to a YouTube video of the app being used which demonstrates its key features and functionality (not longer than 2 minutes and 30 seconds in length)
    • At least one image (i.e. screenshot) of the app being used, included as an attachment
    • Checkmarks indicating which Featured Input (or Inputs) are used by the application
    • Optionally, submissions may include as an attachment a sample Green Button or other input data file to be used when judging the app
  • Acceptable platforms - The app must be designed for the Web, a personal computer, a mobile handheld device such as a smartphone, console, or any platform broadly accessible on the open Internet.Explore the featured APIs, standards and ideas provided on the http://energychallenge.energy.gov website (collectively "Featured Inputs"). All submissions must use one or more of these Featured Inputs to qualify for a prize.
  • Functionality The application must use one or more of the featured APIs, standards or ideas listed on the Challenge website at http://energychallenge.energy.gov (the "Featured Inputs") to solve a problem or create value for the application's users.
  • Deadline - The Submission must be complete and the applications must be ready for evaluation by March 9, 2014 at 9:00PM ET for judging purposes.
  • No DOE logo - The app must not use DOE's logo or official seal in the Submission, and must not claim DOE endorsement.
  • Accuracy of Claims - A Submission may be disqualified if the software application fails to function as expressed in the description and video provided by the user, or if the software application provides inaccurate information. Any features or functionality demonstrated in the submission video, text and images must be fully implemented by the application.
  • Third Party Approval - Submissions requiring approval from a third party, such as an app store, in order to be accessible to the public, must be submitted to such third party or app store for review before the end of the Competition Submission Period. For any software platform that is not easily shared on the web before store approval, such as Apple iPhone, you may submit your working software app using a web framework designed for those platforms (such as PhoneGap), and provide the required link to a video of your working application. DOE may request access to the Application in person or via device UDID provisioning to verify any criteria or functionality of your Application.
  • Security - Submissions must be free of malware, viruses or other malicious code. Contestant agrees that DOE may conduct testing on the app to determine whether malware or other security threats may be present. DOE may disqualify the app if, in DOE's judgment, the app may damage government or others' equipment or operating environment.
  • No Previous Winners - Contestant may not submit an Application that is substantially similar to an Application that has previously been submitted by the Contestant to another contest and won a prize. This rule does not apply to applicants who demo their application at an event organized by the Department of Energy from January 8, 2014 - March 9, 2014.
  • DOE will also screen submissions for Contestant eligibility, IT security, and compliance with http://energychallenge.energy.gov Terms of Use. Apps failing to meet Submission Requirements or other submission screenings will be deemed ineligible to win a prize. Posting an app to the Competition website does not constitute DOE's final determination of Contestant of the app' eligibility.
  • Each Submission must be the work of the Contestant, and must not infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, privacy rights, moral rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • It is an express condition of submission and eligibility that each Contestant warrants and represents that the Contestant's Submission is solely owned by the Contestant, that the Submission is wholly original with the Contestant, and that no other party has any ownership rights or ownership interest in the Submission.
  • Each Contestant further represents and warrants to DOE and the other Supporters that the Submission, and any use thereof by DOE or the other Supporters (or any of their respective partners, subsidiaries and affiliates), shall not: (i) be defamatory or libelous in any manner toward any person, (ii) constitute or result in any misappropriation or other violation of any person's publicity rights or right of privacy, or (iii) infringe, misappropriate or otherwise violate any intellectual property rights, proprietary rights, privacy rights, moral rights or any other rights of any person or entity.
  • A Contestant may contract with a third party for technical assistance to create the Submission, provided the Application is solely the Contestant's work product and the result of the Contestant's ideas and creativity and the Contestant owns all rights to it.
  • Each submission must be in English or, if in a language other than English, the Submission must be accompanied by an English translation of that text.
  • Submissions will not be accepted if they contain any matter that, in the sole discretion of DOE, is indecent, obscene, defamatory, libelous, in bad taste, or demonstrates a lack of respect for public morals or conduct.
  • If the DOE, in its discretion, finds any Submission to be unacceptable, then such Submission may be deemed disqualified.

Return to Table of Contents


Contestant Eligibility:

The Competition is open only to: (a) citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are at least thirteen (13) years old at the time of entry (or teams of eligible individuals); and (b) private entities, such as corporations or other organizations, that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Individuals submitting on behalf of corporations, nonprofits, or groups of individuals (such as an academic class or other team) must meet the eligibility requirements for individual participants. An individual may join more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization. DOE employees, employees of supporting organizations, and members of their immediate family (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in the Competition.

In the event of a dispute as to any registration, the authorized account holder of the email address used to register will be deemed to be the Contestant. The "authorized account holder" is the natural person or legal entity assigned an email address by an Internet access provider, online service provider or other organization responsible for assigning email addresses for the domain associated with the submitted address. Contestants and potential winners may be required to show proof of being the authorized account holder.

Return to Table of Contents


Competition Submission Period and Display of Submissions:

Developers must submit their original application between January 17 and March 9, 2014. Submissions may be posted on http://energychallenge.energy.gov, and on other Department of Energy sites such as OpenEI.org, on a rolling basis after being screened by DOE for basic functionality, accuracy of messaging, and integrity (i.e., security), and appropriateness of content. The Administrator has the right to request access to the Application in person or via any reasonable manner to verify the Application functions and operates as stated in the Submission. Failure by a Contestant to honor such a request may result in immediate disqualification of the Submission. The members of the general public, including all Contestants, will have equal access to Submissions posted on the website. DOE reserves the right to extend the submission period at any time for any reason.

Return to Table of Contents


Teams:

Challenge submissions can be from an individual or a team. If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prizewinner, DOE will award a single dollar amount to winning Team(s). Each Team, whether consisting of a single or multiple Contestants, is solely responsible for allocating any prize amount among its member Contestants as they deem appropriate. DOE will not arbitrate, intervene, advise on, or resolve any matters between entrant members. It will be up to the winning Team(s) to reallocate the prize money among its member Contestants, if they deem it appropriate.

Return to Table of Contents


Competition Subject to Applicable Law:

The Competition is subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. Participation constitutes each Participant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and administrative decisions, which are final and binding in all matters related to the Competition. Eligibility for a prize award is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein. This notice is not an obligation of funds; the final award of prizes is contingent upon the availability of appropriations.

Return to Table of Contents


Intellectual Property Rights:

All submissions to the Competition remain the intellectual property of the individuals or organizations that developed them. By submitting the Application to this Competition, you grant to DOE, and the other supporters a royalty-free license to: (i) post on Energychallenge.energy.gov and other Department of Energy and affiliated sites your Submission(s) (including the associated text, video and images) and a link to the downloadable Application in the online store of the applicable software platform (e.g., iTunes) or, if not distributed through such platform, to your website or other location where the application can be accessed; and (ii) publicize the names of Competition participants (including the individual members of a team) and winners and their Applications through media and events of DOE's choosing. Such license shall remain in force for the duration of the Competition and for a period of one year following the announcement of the Competition winners.

Return to Table of Contents


Each Contestant represents and warrants that the Contestant is the sole author and copyright owner of the Submission; that the Submission is an original work of the Contestant and that the Contestant has acquired sufficient rights to use and to authorize others, including DOE, to use the Submission, as specified throughout the Official Rules, including the "Intellectual Property Rights" section of the Official Rules; that the Submission does not infringe upon any copyright or upon any other third party rights of which the Contestant is aware; and that the Submission is free of malware.

Return to Table of Contents


Submission Topic/Theme

All Submissions should meet the intent and spirit of the challenge, as previously defined in the contest summary.

Return to Table of Contents


Prizes

Best Overall Application Prizes

  • Best Overall Application - First Prize: $25,000
  • Best Overall Application - Second Prize: $12,500
  • Best Overall Application - Popular Choice Award: $5,000
  • Note: Winners of the First and Second Prizes will also receive a $2,500 award to cover travel expenses to Washington, D.C. for an award ceremony

Prizes for Using Featured Inputs

  • Best Use of the Green Button Standard - First Prize: $10,000
  • Best Use of the Green Button Standard - Second Prize: $5,000
  • Best Use of the Home Energy Score Tool API - $7,500
  • Best Use of the Commercial Building Energy Asset Score API - $7,500
  • Best Use of the Buildings Performance Database API - $7,500
  • Best Use of the Energy Information Administration API - $7,500
  • Best Use of a Winning Contest #1 Idea - $7,500

All eligible applications submitted to the contest are in the running for the three "Best Overall Application" prizes ("First Prize", "Second Prize", and the "Popular Choice Award").

Entries will be eligible for additional prizes based on which Featured Inputs are used in the application. For example, a submitted application that uses the Energy Information Administration API as a part of its functionality would be eligible for the "Best Use of the Energy Administration API" prize, in addition to the "Best Overall Application" prizes.

Submissions may be eligible for more than one prize, if they use more than one featured input. For example, if an eligible submission's application is based on one of the Winning Ideas from Contest #1, and it uses the Green Button Standard, the submission would be eligible for the "Best Overall Application" prizes, as well as the "Best Use of of a Winning Contest #1 Idea" prize and the "Best Use of the Green Button Standard" prize.

Submissions may win more than one prize. It is expected, for example, that the submissions that win one of the "Best Overall Application" prizes may also win a prize for their use of one or more featured input(s).

The winners of these prizes (collectively, "Winners") will have their apps featured on the DOE, http://energychallenge.energy.gov, or other Department of Energy and affiliated websites such as OpenEI.org.

Winners are responsible for reporting and paying all applicable federal, state and local taxes.

Return to Table of Contents


Judging and Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be judged by an expert judging panel as well as the public. The expert judging panel will determine all winners except the "Best Overall Application - Popular Choice" prize. The "Best Overall Application - Popular Choice" prize will be determined by public vote on Energychallenge.energy.gov.

The judges will score entries using the following criteria:

  • Strength of Concept: The application is new and interesting, and the idea has the potential to help solve a socially, environmentally or economically important issue
  • Execution: The application is functional, works as demonstrated, is well designed, and is ready or near-ready to be deployed to real users
  • Use of a Featured Input: The application uses one or more of the featured APIs, standards or ideas as a central component of the application.

A Contestant's likelihood of winning will depend primarily on the number and quality of all of the Submissions, as determined by the Judges using the criteria above.

Popular Choice Award: The public will have the opportunity to select a Popular Choice Award winner, which will be determined by public vote on the energychallenge.energy.gov website during the Public Voting Period. Each registered visitor will be permitted to vote for as many submitted applications as they like. Individuals are not permitted to create multiple accounts for the purpose of casting more than one vote for the same application. DOE and Ideascale may monitor for voting fraud, and may disqualify the votes and/or submissions of any users or Contestants seeking to defraud the voting process.

The app with the most valid votes will be deemed the Popular Choice Award winner. An app that receives the Popular Choice Award is still eligible to receive one or more judges' prize. If the voting process for the Popular Choice Awards fails to operate properly or appears to be tampered with or tainted with errors, fraud or unfair practices, DOE in their sole discretion reserves the right to use another means of their choice to determine the winner of the Popular Choice Awards. Contestants may not pay or otherwise compensate anyone or provide any other type of consideration, in exchange for votes.

Public votes may be displayed on the competition website, on a real-time basis, before being verified for integrity. These unverified votes will not necessarily reflect accurately the voting for the Popular Choice Awards.

The winners of the Popular Choice Awards will be determined on the basis of the verified vote counts, as determined by DOE. DOE reserves the right to extend or cancel the voting period at any time for any reason.

Judges

The Finalist Submissions will be judged by the judges identified in the challenge details or by another qualified panel selected by DOE at its sole discretion. The panel will judge the Submissions on the judging criteria identified in the challenge summary in order to select winners in each category. Judges have the right to withdraw without advance notice in the event of circumstances beyond their control. Judges may not (A) have personal or substantial (over $500) financial interests in, or be an employee, officer, director, or agent of any entity that is a registered participant in a competition; or (B) have a familial or financial relationship with an individual who is a registered participant.

Judging Decisions

The decisions of the judges will be announced in early May, 2014 on energychallenge.energy.gov.

Return to Table of Contents


Verification and Publicity of Winners

ALL POTENTIAL COMPETITION WINNERS ARE SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION OF IDENTITY, QUALIFICATIONS AND ROLE IN THE CREATION OF THE APPLICATION BY DOE, WHOSE DECISIONS ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE COMPETITION.

Winners must continue to comply with all terms and conditions of these Official Rules, and winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements contained herein. The Winners will be notified by email, telephone, or mail after the date of the judging. Each Winner (or Winner's parent/guardian if under 18 years of age), will be required to sign and return to DOE, within ten (10) days of the date notice being sent, an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity Release (except where prohibited) in order to claim any recognition. Winners must provide information to DOE consistent with Federal travel regulations to allow for reimbursement to the recognition event and app demonstrations in Washington, D.C. In the sole discretion of DOE, a potential winner will be deemed ineligible to win if: (i) the person/entity cannot be contacted; (ii) the person/entity fails to sign and return the affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period; (iii) the prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable; or (iv) the submission or person/entity is disqualified for any other reason. In the event of a disqualification of a winner, DOE in their sole discretion may award the applicable prize to an alternate winner.

Publicity

Except where prohibited, participation in the Competition constitutes each winner's consent to DOE's and its agents' use of each winner's name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, and/or hometown and state information for promotional purposes through any form of media, worldwide, without further permission, payment or consideration.

Return to Table of Contents


Additional Terms and Conditions:

Liability and Insurance

Any and all information provided by or obtained from the Federal Government is without any warranty or representation whatsoever, including but not limited to its suitability for any particular purpose. Upon registration, all participants agree to assume and, thereby, have assumed any and all risks of injury or loss in connection with or in any way arising from participation in this competition, development of any application or the use of any application by the participants or any third-party. Upon registration all participants agree to and, thereby, do waive and release any and all claims or causes of action against the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), arising from their participation in the contest, whether the claim or cause of action arises under contract or tort. Upon registration, all participants agree to and, thereby, shall indemnify and hold harmless the Federal Government and its officers, employees and agents for any and all injury and damage of any nature whatsoever (whether existing or thereafter arising, whether direct, indirect, or consequential and whether foreseeable or not), including but not limited to any damage that may result from a virus, malware, etc., to Government computer systems or data, or to the systems or data of end-users of the software and/or application(s) which results, in whole or in part, from the fault, negligence, or wrongful act or omission of the participants or participants' officers, employees or agents.

Based on the subject matter of the Competition, the type of work that it possibly will require, and the likelihood of any claims for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss potentially resulting from challenge participation, Participant is not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate fiscal responsibility in order to participate in this Competition.

Standard Disclaimer

The following disclaimer is mandatory for applications deployed on non-DOE information systems. This standard disclaimer shall be incorporated into the software in such a way that individuals must read and accept its conditions before initial use (NOTE: The standard disclaimer must appear in all capital letters):

THE MATERIAL EMBODIED IN THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED TO YOU "AS-IS" AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR OTHERWISE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY OR THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, LOSS OF PROFIT, LOSS OF USE, SAVINGS OR REVENUE, OR THE CLAIMS OF THIRD PARTIES, WHETHER OR NOT DOE OR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH LOSS, HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE POSSESSION, USE, OR PERFORMANCE OF THIS SOFTWARE.

Records Retention and FOIA

All materials submitted to DOE as part of a Submission become DOE records and cannot be returned. Any confidential commercial information contained in a Submission should be designated at the time of submission. Submitters will be notified of any Freedom of Information Act requests for their Submissions in accordance with 29 C.F.R. ยง 70.26.

508 Compliance

Participants should keep in mind that the Department of Energy considers universal accessibility to information a priority for all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. In this regard, the Department is strongly committed to meeting its compliance obligations under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, to ensure the accessibility of its programs and activities to individuals with disabilities. This obligation includes acquiring accessible electronic and information technology. When evaluating Submissions for this contest, the extent to which a Submission complies with the requirements for accessible technology required by Section 508 will be considered.

Privacy

If you choose to provide DOE with personal information by registering or filling out the submission form through the Competition website, that information is used to respond to you in matters regarding your submission and/or the Competition only - unless you choose to receive updates or notifications about other competitions from DOE on an opt-in basis. Information is not collected for commercial marketing. Please read the Energychallenge.energy.gov Privacy Policy for complete information.

General Conditions

DOE reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond DOE's reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by DOE in its sole discretion. DOE is not responsible for, nor is it required to count, incomplete, late, misdirected, damaged, unlawful, or illicit votes, including those secured through payment or achieved through automated means.

ALL DECISIONS BY DOE ARE FINAL AND BINDING IN ALL MATTERS RELATED TO THE COMPETITION.

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT NECESSARY. A PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

Department of Energy Address

Department of Energy: Department of Energy
Office of Public Affairs, 7A-145
Attn: Apps for Energy II
1000 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC, 20585

Questions

For questions about these Official Rules contact DataInnovation@hq.doe.gov.

Note: Rules for Contest #1: The Energy Ideas Contest are available here.

Return to Table of Contents