Manager   •   over 8 years ago

Challenge ideas

Please use this thread to discuss and ideas or questions you have regarding challenges that can be addressed with new web and mobile applications as part of the 2015 Boston Cleanweb Hackathon.


  • Manager   •   over 8 years ago

    Some really interesting app ideas here!

  •   •   over 8 years ago


    My teammates and I have two ideas we're looking for technical help to build: (1) a platform that identifies, aggregates, and curates clean energy options on behalf of consumers and (2) an app that allows consumers participating in solar to monitor the performance and financial return from their system.

    Look forward to meeting folks at the Hackathon and beginning this work!

    Please feel free to e-mail at


  •   •   over 8 years ago

    All: here's a challenge related to EV adoption that I'd love someone to tackle. While MA and other states are now offering generous incentives to consumers to purchase electric vehicles, many more buyers might be moved into the 'yes' column if they understood how much less it costs to own and operate an EV (paying for electricity vs. gas).

    The challenge concept is fairly straight forward. Develop an app that allows users to enter information about their gas powered vehicle (year, make, model). By leveraging the phone/smart device's native GPS functionality, and publicly available retail gas pricing information, the app should produce a operational savings estimate for the consumer after 2-4 weeks of driving. In other words, it should answer the question, "how much could I have saved over the last month (and how much could I save annually) if I had been driving an EV, instead of a gas powered vehicle. An added bonus, the app could also calculate emissions reductions based on publicly available information about the GHG profile of grid power in New England vs. publicly available gasoline emission data.


  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Create a water conservation App that gives people localized information about water availability and water usage. Though data is not always available as fast or as finely resolved as we may want, we can still build a better interface to understand the data and provide basic projections. Also can add localized contacts for water conservation and/or adds to local businesses in water conservation.

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Galen- great idea! I see potential to expand that app. For EV/hybrid drivers, it could tell them how much they saved compared to a typical gas-powered vehicle. Also, why wait 2-4 weeks for feedback? Connect this app to navigation apps, and start showing cost savings and emissions reductions after every trip that is completed.

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Here's one idea I'd love to work with others on.
    A barcode scanner that estimates 3 things about a given product, depending on data availability:
    1. Energy usage in manufacturing
    2. Water usage in manufacturing
    3. Energy usage in transportation from factory to consumer

    The idea is to help people get a feel for the "invisible" ways we use energy & water when purchasing common household items. Could be done for food products as well. Even better would be for this type of data to show up on an Amazon shopping page, so that energy can become a more obvious factor in purchasing decisions.

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Anna, I think this is a great idea! You may want to consider energy and water usage during these other steps in the product lifecycle :
    1. Raw Material Production and transport (can group this into "manufacturing")
    2. Packaging
    3. Product energy use if it is electronic or gas-powered
    4. Energy usage to dispose the product

    I can see a lot of value in this app, especially if you could use its data to predict energy costs of other products.

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    If you are interested in developing a tool to help the growing net metered solar market in Massachusetts and New York, please reach out to me and my teammate Andy Belden, or look for him at the mixer tonight. We work internationally on climate and energy projects now, and are looking for technical help! See you all Saturday morning.

  • Manager   •   over 8 years ago

    Hi all! Here are the challenges that were displayed on the powerpoint last night at the mixer:

    -Incentivizing landlords to make efficiency improvements

    -Tracking estimated cost-savings of driving an EV over user’s current vehicle

    -Overlapping home value information with estimates of average energy bills for potential homebuyers

    -An algorithm to create a comprehensive water use intensity benchmark for a number of categories of buildings

    -Tracking electric and natural gas prices on an immediate basis so that facility managers can lock in pricing for budgeting and true costs

    -Tracking electric meter demands so that facility/energy managers understand the highpoint of the meter read and thus plan a load drop

  •   •   over 8 years ago

    Create a subscription website allowing municipalities in New England to share know-how about GHG emissions reduction programs. During 2014-15 Cambridge has developed a comprehensive program which will be launched this year. Boston also has progressive actions in place. In order for achieve GHG reduction at scale, however, its important to leverage proven best practices for the benefit of as many cities as possible.

    Would appreciate ideas and comments.

    Andrew Vitvitsky

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