Energy Saving App Competition

StudioLab and EEB Hub are sponsoring the “Save Energy Application Design Competition”,  a technology design competition focused on generating ideas and prototypes geared toward saving energy at the individual level.


The Challenge

The challenge of the “Save Energy Application Design Competition” is to incorporate energy-use data streams into an interactive web, mobile, or social media based application that gets people to start thinking about saving energy. Many approaches to saving energy have already been attempted. These include energy-use feedback visualizations, educational materials, virtual simulations, and energy-themed games. This competition wants to take those a step further. Entrants are asked to do something new with one of these approaches, combine the approaches in new exciting ways, or to create their own approach. The only requirements are that the application created: (1) incorporates the live energy-use data; (2) is interactive by requiring user input and doing more than only displaying information; and (3) is created on one of the platforms listed below.


Who Can Enter?

The competition is open to all Penn State Students.


Target Audience

The application’s audience contains a wide variety of people, varying in age, familiarity with computer programs, mobile applications, and social media, and economic status. The target audience is broadly defined as occupants of commercial buildings- this could be an office setting, a merchant, a restaurant, or a variety of other locations. The target audience's age range reflects that of a typical commercial office setting. Children’s games are excluded from the competition.


Data Feed

The data feed that must be incorporated will include data from a variety of appliances and electronics in a traditional office setting located on the Penn State University Park campus. Each stream can be used independently, or can be grouped with others to form simulations of different offices or different rooms within an office. The available data need not limit the creativity of the project; this competition is focused on generating ideas, acknowledging that if the winning application is further developed, access to more specific data will ensue.

Click Here to Learn More About the Data Feed and Access It Here!


The application must be able to run on a web-based interface (website), a mobile-based interface (smart phone or iPad), or on a social media site (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Preference is up to the designer, and no platform will be favored in judging.


Submission Requirements

The final contest submission has three components: the game or application itself; a short essay (minimum of 500 words) stating the intents and ideas behind the application, describing the application itself and how it is used, and then how successfully or unsuccessfully the application does what it set out to do; and an 11” by 17” poster to be displayed and used for judging. The poster should contain a brief summary of the application, screen shots, and annotations.



This website is intended to be a resource for competition entrants. The site includes a detailed project description and product requirements, competition parameters, and our desired outcomes. It also includes suggestions on approaches and content, as well as links to articles, blogs, and websites with more information on the topic.

Existing energy saving games

and interactive energy-displaying dashboards are linked as well. The data stream is transmitted through the website, and registration will take place on this site.




Cash prizes: Grand prize winner receives $1000, 2nd place prizes: $500, 3rd place prizes: $250, additional prize categories: $100. Winners will be selected by a panel that will potentially include industry experts, GPIC officials, and representatives of the target audience.

Click Here for Details About the Prizes

Judging Criteria

Entrants will be judged on: (1) the originality and innovativeness of their ideas; (2) the level of engagement the product creates; (3) the visual appeal of their final product; (4) the energy saving content and ability to induce change; and (5) the overall ease of use and operability of the product relative to the target audience. Each factor will be independently weighed, and the winners will not necessarily have to score the highest in every category to be selected.



Registration begins in early October with the opening of the website. There is no deadline to register, but you must be registered to submit a project.

Final submissions will be due Monday January 9, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. to a dropbox on the competition website. Winners will be notified in late January.
More Information

For more information or to contact us, click here. Any additional questions or comments can be directed to the project Coordinator Dena Lang at