Facebook just announced that it will partner with Opower and the National Resources Defense Council to launch a new energy efficiency Facebook app in 2012. Users of the app will be able to log into a nationwide network to share their energy usage with other homes around the country. The app will enable users to compare their energy consumption, share tips to decrease power use, and participate in online contests that encourage energy efficiency.

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We hardly spend a day without logging onto Facebook to catch up with our friends – and now the powerful social media platform will be used to help us help us live greener lives by becoming more energy-efficient. By connecting socially, the app will allow users to learn just how much energy our households use, and if we are using more than our friends and neighbors.

The app, which will attract energy partners thanks to the NRDC, will enable people to register their energy use and invite friends to compare their stats, as well as share their own personal tips. The new Facebook news feed will publish each individual’s energy use and rank, to see how each person measures up. Since Facebook links nearly 800 million people, the app will also incentive people to reduce their energy use by offering local contests and awards when goals are achieved.

Users can opt-in to have their energy recorded automatically, or registered at their own will. The NRDC estimates that simple steps in energy efficiency could save the United States an incredible $700 billion — should individuals take action. The new Facebook app will encourage Americans to spend more than six minutes a year (the national average) thinking about their energy consumption.

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