Thanks to the Green Button initiative, American consumers can easily access data about their household energy usage. Armed with this information, consumers can use a growing number of web and smartphone applications to make well-informed energy decisions and save on their utility bills, such as installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems or performing retrofits on their homes. One such application is the winner of the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Apps for Energy contest, Leafully.
According to developers Tim Edgar and Nathan Jhaveri, Leafully helps consumers understand energy usage by presenting energy units as leaves on a tree. Using Green Button, users can import data from their utility and track and visualize their personal energy usage. Leafully then shows how many “trees” are needed to offset the user’s energy consumption as well as actions he/she can take to reduce his/her impact. Actions range from simple activities such as shutting off lights when leaving a room to using natural heat to dry clothes.
Because Leafully is a community, users can share pictures from their activities as they complete them and suggest new activities for the community. Users can also link their account to Facebook, allowing for an additional platform to share the ways in which they are making smart energy choices.
Other features in the program include a breakdown of where your energy comes from, comparisons between months, an energy usage impact calculator and a simple interface for selecting activities. The application also offers explanations of how calculations are derived and their data sources.
To learn more or to sign up, visit https://leafully.com. The Apps for Energy contest offers a more in-depth explanation of the application features, including a look at the apps data, charts and trends as well as a short video with actual screenshots. Users whose utility is not connected to Green Button can use sample data to learn more about the application. To view, click HERE.