A Facebook application that allows smart-meter customers to gauge how much energy they're using compared to others went live Tuesday, Burbank officials announced.

Burbank Water and Power customers can connect their utility accounts to the Opower app via Facebook and see how they stack up to others in terms of energy consumption.

Officials have described the app as a “Farmville”-type social networking experience.

The app plays into what city officials have said is a key element of the smart meters — the ability of customers to track their consumption in near real time to better control costs.

Burbank Water and Power is one of the first utility companies to join the pilot program featuring Opower, which will allow roughly 4 million energy users from California to Chicago to create competitions and share insight.

“This is simply another avenue by which consumers can better understand their energy usage and realize opportunities to save,” Jeanette Meyer, marketing manager for the utility, said in a statement Tuesday.

Consumers also can use the Opower platform to share their experiences and energy-saving tips, according to officials.

To get started, customers may visit social.opower.com or search for the Opower app on Facebook and connect their utility account.