Clevelanders to Debut Award-Winning App

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CLEVELAND -- Two computer programmers and an artist from Cleveland are heading to the nation's capital to show off their award-winning smartphone application.

It's called the "Budget It Yourself" app and it was created by a three-person team consisting of two computer programming students from Case Western Reserve University and a Cleveland Institute of Art graduate.  

During finals in May, the team worked three days and nights creating the budget application which is designed to save homeowners energy and money.

"It allows consumers to see their energy data and see how much they are using and allows them to track it using smart meters which are currently being installed around the country," said Robert Karam, a computer programmer at Case Western Reserve University.

Recently the team won $7,500 in the "Apps For Energy" challenge, a competition sponsored by the Department of Energy. 

On Monday they will be in Washington, D.C. for the "Energy Datapalooza" conference where they will get to show their "Budget It Yourself" creation to the Secretary of Energy.   

"The first thing that they'll do is download their energy data from their energy provider and then they'll take that data then upload it to our website.  You'll get a pin number and then what they'll do is enter that pin number into the phone which will take that data and then display that information in a graph," said Bryan Marty of Case Western Reserve University.

Judges at the app competition praised the design of the app saying that it's "eye-catching."

Patty Ni who designed the look of the app wanted it to be appealing and easy for the consumers to use. 

"When I think of energy I think green and I definitely wanted it to be eye-catching and user-friendly, very user-friendly.  I just wanted a very simple look," she said.

The "Budget It Yourself" smartphone application is free for now but in a year the team will try to make some money from their creation.  

The app is only available for Android phones but the team is developing an application for the iPhone in the near future.