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  • “Contrary to popular and long-held opinion, recent reports have suggested that a south-facing orientation may not actually be the best way in which to contribute significant amounts of power to the national grid. Energy experts at Opower have conducted an analysis which suggests that a western orientation may be more productive. Given that most solar power systems installed so far in the world face south, this may have significant implications for the way in which the global solar sector installs its systems in the future.

    REM talked with Barry Fischer, head writer at Opower to find out more about this situation and how the industry is likely to respond.

    West or South? A key question of solar orientation

    December 19, 2014

  • “Kantenbacher's analysis of the electron reducing potential of socializing at home dovetails with other research, including several analyses conducted by Opower, a software company that works with utilities to help them connect with their customers and reduce their energy use.

    Opower's analyses of residential energy data have shown, fascinatingly, that home energy use decreases at Thanksgiving -- by 5 to 10 percent -- and also during the Super Bowl. In each case, Opower attributes the change to the fact that people are gathered together with family or friends in a single home, and thus, are not using energy at multiple homes.”

    The surprising link between things that make us happy and things that save energy

    December 19, 2014

  • “As we await more widespread adoption of Hadoop, good places to look for innovative adoption of tools designed to work with Hadoop are relatively young companies that are using Hadoop extensively. Think of these as companies whose businesses are built on big data.

    Opower is one such business -- a utility analytics company that gathers meter-reading data and household data from more than 100 gas and electric companies. It adds in weather data, property data, and more to get a clearer understanding of the size and character of homes and the number of people in each household, since those are big drivers of energy use. The idea is to use that analysis to help homeowners better understand their energy usage so they can reduce consumption and choose more attractive rate plans.”

    Big Data Analytics: Time For New Tools

    December 18, 2014

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  • “US energy-savings organization Efficiency Vermont has launched a new customer engagement program with an online tool for households with smart meters. 

    The non-profit company, which is contracted by the state and utilities to deliver energy savings, mailed communications to 100,000 Vermont households to educate them about getting and using data from smart meters.

    Efficiency Vermont will provide the selected customers with a customized report about their monthly power use compared with the energy efficiency among a sample of neighbours.”

    Efficiency Vermont’s new online energy tool for utility customers

    November 24, 2014

  • “Efficiency Vermont, which contracts with the state and utilities to deliver energy savings, will provide recipients of the mailings a customized report about their monthly power use compared with the energy efficiency among a sample of neighbors.”

    Efficiency Vermont to launch online tool to educate consumers

    November 14, 2014

  • Efficiency Vermont will launch a new program next week about a new online tool consumers can use to save energy and money. 

    Jim Merriam, director of the Burlington-based nonprofit, said Friday the agency will send mailings to 100,000 Vermont households Monday to educate them about getting and using information from "smart meters" toward big savings.

    Big push is on for smart meters

    November 14, 2014

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