In a press conference moments ago, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the “Reinvent Green” hackathon, the city’s first focused on the environment.
The website states:
“Want to change the world? Apply to be a part of the City of New York’s first Greener, Greater Hackathon. The weekend event challenges data scientists, developers and designers to use environmental data to create tools and apps that empower New Yorkers to live greener, greater lives. Join us Summer 2012.”
That’s right: engineers and developers will get a crack at city data to build efficiency applications.
“In cleantech, New York is leading by example,” Bloomberg said during the press conference, outlining the savings from several efforts already underway in the city, such as solar panel installations and white roof programs. “Clearly, cleantech makes good business and economic sense.”
Efforts from the city’s PlaNYC program have already saved tens of millions of dollars, Bloomberg said.
“It’s real money, and that’s an annual savings,” he said. “You can have an awful lot of more teachers and firefighters for $32 million a year.”
Bloomberg made the announcement at the Flatiron District headquarters of Efficiency 2.0, a local energy efficiency software startup that works with utilities to incentivize customers to reduce consumption and lower their electricity bills.
That company used the event to formally launch its Home Energy Advisor and Business Energy Advisor tools, with Southern California Edison as a customer. (The company also works with New York State Electric & Gas and Rochester Gas & Electric.)
Bloomberg used Efficiency 2.0 as an example of the city’s support for tech startups focused on energy.
“It started in 2009 with 10 employees. Today, they have 30,” Bloomberg said. “And as I understand it, they’re planning to double their workforce this year. That means more jobs and more savings for New Yorkers.”