GRID 21, a nonprofit organization committed to engaging electricity customers in using a new generation of tools and technologies to better manage their electricity consumption, announces the launch of The Biggest Energy Saver Consumer Contest.

This first-of-its-kind contest challenges Texas residents whose electricity is delivered by CenterPoint Energy’s electric operations business and Oncor to reduce their electricity consumption through the use of smart meter data.

Taking place through Sept. 30, participants who can reduce their energy consumption and demonstrate how those reductions can be sustained over time may be eligible to win the grand prize of a 2011 Chevy Volt, a first prize suite of GE smart kitchen appliances or a second prize single GE smart appliance.

Additionally, other top competitors will receive Tendril In-Home Network suites.

The consumer contest is part of a GRID 21-sponsored program called The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign. The campaign was created by Oncor and CenterPoint Energy, with founding technology partners Itron and Landis+Gyr. IBM is also a collaborator on the program.

The campaign is designed to educate consumers about the benefits of using data from their residential smart meters to manage energy consumption and includes three components: the consumer contest, the creation of an online community at www.BiggestEnergySaver.com and an application developer contest that began in July.

With more than 3 million meters installed in Texas by CenterPoint Energy and Oncor, as well as other significant grid investments to improve reliability and grow the nation-leading wind energy portfolio, these Texas electric customers will be the largest group of participants in the inaugural Biggest Energy Saver Campaign.

“This campaign is the largest of its kind in the nation and our goal in launching the initiative is to help jumpstart a movement that sees the introduction of more customer-friendly energy-management tools,” said Steve Hauser, president of GRID 21. “Electric utility customers have consistently voiced their desire to better understand and manage their electricity usage. We want to help arm residents with the tools and information they need to make more efficient electricity consumption a reality.”

To enter, residents must register at www.BiggestEnergySaver.com, meet eligibility requirements and register their smart meter at www.SmartMeterTexas.com.

The Smart Meter Texas portal enables customers to track their energy use in 15-minute increments, empowering users to make smart changes to their energy habits based on the time of day.

The Biggest Energy Saver Campaign encourages customers to track their consumption via the Smart Meter Texas portal, in-home displays that may be available through a retail electric provider and through applications created by software developers in the application developer contest. Use of in-home displays and applications in the contest is optional.

Contestants must be 18 or older at the time of entry and must have lived at their current metered residence since at least Aug. 1, 2010, to be eligible.

Participants must also be customers in the Oncor or CenterPoint Energy service areas in Texas with a provisioned and installed smart meter.

Finalists in the Biggest Energy Saver Consumer Contest will be notified of next steps in late fall. For full details about eligibility and for Official Rules, visit www.BiggestEnergySaver.com.