MaRS Looks to Help Ontario Energy Consumers with Four New Apps

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With the Al Gore sighting at MaRS Discovery District last week, it seems the public/private-funded innovation hub is making it clear that sustainable energy innovation should be taken very seriously.

That trend continues today as MaRS is launching an initiative that will see Ontario energy consumers gain access to four new apps to help manage consumption data.

Apps from Energent, BuiltSpace, Eyedro and Zerofootprint will be made available to consumers in London Hydro and Hydro One’s service territories throughout the duration of the year-long pilot program.

-Energent is a leading North American provider of model-based energy informatics and optimization for commercial, industrial and institutional applications.

– BuiltSpace us a simple, secure, practical, collaborative and integrated software-as-a-service (SaaS) app for operating, maintaining and improving building portfolios.

-Zerofootprint allows consumers to compare their electricity consumption with that of their neighbours; understand how to reduce it; and distributes ZerofootprintRewards to those who make measurable reductions.

– Eyedro Green Solutions Inc. manufactures the Eyedro real-time electricity monitor and myFreeMonitor.com cloud service, which helps users visualize electricity usage, identify waste and cut electricity costs.

The initiative is being spearheaded by MaRS Data Catalyst, which gathers data and analysis to to support the province’s entrepreneurs, researchers, policy-makers and innovators, and Ontario’s Ministry of Energy. Together they’re working with industry partners to enable electricity consumption data access through the adoption of the Green Button Standard, already popular in the US.

The Green Button initiative, already vouched by US President Obama, aims to give people direct, timely access to their own energy data through a secure download from their utility’s website. The 4.7 million smart meters installed in homes and small businesses across the province of Ontario enable consumers to access their own consumption data via the use of third-party apps.

As part of the Green Button initiative, MaRS Data Catalyst is piloting the first adoption of the Connect My Data program. Connect My Data is a voluntary initiative that will enable participating consumers to securely share their electricity consumption information with Green Button-enabled apps of their choice, which will offer consumer education and create opportunities for conservation through behaviour change, energy efficiency upgrades, energy management system automation and other potential uses.