Company Coverage

  • Opower’s smart metering platform has surpassed 400 billion meter reads. Opower now analyzes 40 percent of all residential energy consumption data generated in the U.S. Opower’s platform uses energy data from over 55 million energy customers aggregated from nearly 100 utilities worldwide.

    Opower has conducted 400 billion meter reads worldwide

    March 10, 2015

  • On the morning of March 20, a major solar eclipse will hit Europe. Most people will get to enjoy a fun astronomical spectacle, as the moon wanders directly between us and the sun, casting a shadow on Earth.

    But the eclipse will be a big headache for electric utilities in Germany.

    That's because Germany now gets roughly 7 percent of its electricity from solar power. And, for about 75 minutes, the moon will block much of the sun, decreasing sunlight by as much as three-quarters.

    A major eclipse hits Europe this month — and it's a big test for solar power

    March 10, 2015

  • Earlier this year Opower launched the sixth version of its software platform, which has new features like a billing suite and a next-generation data segmentation tool. Opower is now using analytics to run utility call centers and billing service. If those take off, they could offer some substantial growth.”

    As growth slows, Opower looks beyond energy efficiency

    March 5, 2015

  • Opower is an Arlington, Va.-based software firm that works with power companies to help them better connect with their customers and, potentially, change their customers’ behavior. This role gives the company access to a ton of data, including from smart meters, which record our energy use and convey it back to utility companies in intervals of 15 minutes or less. (Opower protects customer data and confidentiality; you can read its privacy principles here.)

    Using this data, Opower’s Nancy Hersh, the company’s vice president of analytics, recently plotted the energy use of more than 800,000 homes over a 24-hour period.

    Knowing your "energy personality" can save you a lot of money

    March 3, 2015

  • “Indeed, a single behavioral energy intervention that many utilities are already pursuing — sending out home energy reports along with monthly utility bills, which compare people’s usage levels with those of their neighbors — leads to a 2 percent reduction in energy use, on average.

    The reports are created by Opower, a software firm that helps utility companies better connect with their customers, and they work by letting people see how much they’re using compared with others living near them (we humans are, after all, social animals) and giving encouragement to those who are using less.

    We could keep a huge amount of carbon out of the atmosphere just by changing people’s behavior

    February 27, 2015

  • “One key to survival of utilities involves treating their ratepayers as customers. New technology from Council Associate Partner Opower promises to help utilities make that transition, providing customers with a level of customized service that’s more like what one would expect from an online retailer. And some utilities are already signing on.”

    Healthy utilities begin with happy customers

    February 25, 2015

  • “Opower is a cloud-based company best known for its demand management and response tools. But the company's recent foray into customer care — it launched a new platform aimed at helping utilities reduce billing calls — helps illustrate how radically the industry has changed and where opportunity now resides for utilities.”

    Coming of age: How utilities are trying to catch up with Uber and Amazon

    February 25, 2015

  • “The company assumed that social media would be the best way to target consumers, so they expended resources on a Facebook app. It was a failure. So Opower resumed their trial and error testing. Eventually, they discovered that sending people consumer reports, which documented their neighbors’ energy consumption, had a much greater impact than social media.”

    The Creator's Code: What 200 CEOs Can Teach You About Entrepreneurial Success

    February 23, 2015

  • “Jana Jones was one of many utility employees attending Opower's user conference in Miami last week. The three-day event, called Power Up, brought together a couple hundred efficiency program managers and utility executives to hear about the software provider's product roadmap and discuss their own experiences with efficiency programs.

    Opower has always seen itself as a utility ally, not a disrupter. Company executives used last week's event to further push that narrative, telling existing and prospective customers alike that they want to help them transition to a customer-focused business model.”

    Inside Opower’s New Growth Strategy: The Utility Bill ‘Is the Biggest Missed Opportunity’

    February 23, 2015

  • “Worried about a possible 'utility death spiral,' energy insiders are searching for new financial models to keep U.S. utilities healthy as customers flee to distributed energy. But how about just figuring out ways to help the utility keep the customer in the first place?

    That’s what Opower hopes to do with a newly announced customer care product.  The company that led the way in getting consumers to think about energy efficiency now wants to get customers to think about their utility — and kindly.

    What if Your Electric Utility Acted More Like or Netflix?

    February 21, 2015

  • Puget Sound Energy (PSE) will be the first utility to deploy Opower's new customer care solution. With its sixth generation customer engagement platform, Opower 6, the company expands its offerings to include customer care while improving core tools and analytics. 

    Opower’s first customer care offering, Billing Suite, focuses on reducing high bill call volume and call center handle time, while increasing customer satisfaction. In early tests, clients using these products have reduced billing related calls by up to 19 percent.

    Puget Sound Energy to use Opower customer service platform

    February 18, 2015

  • “Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) has selected Opower (OPWR) for a multi-year partnership to deliver personalized communications across residential, commercial, and industrial customers. SMUD will replace a set of existing systems with the Opower platform in an effort to drive energy efficiency savings and to improve customer experience.”

    SMUD selects Opower's customer engagement platform

    February 17, 2015

  • “True fact: people won’t reduce their energy consumption for public good. But they will do it to keep up with the Jones. Tell people their neighbors are saving energy, and they’ll reduce their consumption, says a study by Dr. Robert Cialdini. Opower has turned this into a business.”

    Could these 5 big data projects stop climate change?

    February 14, 2015

  • “Income levels aren't the most important factor driving electricity consumption. While wealthier households tend to use more electricity than lower-income households, the difference isn't enormous, said Timur Hicyilmaz, director of consumer insights at Opower, a Virginia-based software company that works with utilities to encourage energy conservation.”

    Data: Big disparities in energy use across desert

    February 13, 2015

  • “In a subsequent analysis, Opower found different results in a sample of over 100,000 Midwestern customers. Conservatives used more energy overall – by 3 percent – but actually saved a sliver more after receiving home energy reports for 2.5 years. Proceeding to look at other regions of the country, Opower found that only in the Mountain West did liberals cut their energy use significantly more than conservatives after receiving the report.”

    Want to get conservatives to save energy? Stop the environmentalist preaching

    February 12, 2015

  • Here's one interesting way to compare the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks: energy. And we don't mean fan enthusiasm.

    Opower, a software company that helps utilities improve the customer experience, analyzed how the two teams' home cities compare in terms of energy efficiency and innovation. 
    In a matchup that Opower calls the Efficiency Bowl, the company examined the two regions across 11 diverse categories, with a focus on technology, utility customer engagement, clean energy and transportation. It then determined which team was the top performer.”

    Who Will Win Super Bowl XLIX: A Showdown In Energy Efficiency Between New England And Seattle

    January 29, 2015

  • “There is not really any need to make the Super Bowl more popular than it already is. Nonetheless, there’s a surprisingly good thing about it that you may not have heard of before — namely, that this event has actually been documented to save energy on a large scale.

    And this isn’t just a curiosity or statistical quirk. There’s a bigger lesson here about a crucial but often overlooked factor involved in energy use — how much time we spend with other people, rather than alone in our homes.

    Why people use less energy on Super Bowl Sunday

    January 28, 2015

  • “Creating great customer experiences is not easy, but here’s some good news. Academic research in behavioral economics and psychology has produced a foundation of lessons that, when combined with technology, can help companies relieve customer pain points and deliver delightful experiences in any industry.”

    The Rise of the Chief Behavioral Officer

    January 28, 2015

  • “Robert Cialdini, the father of the “commitment principle,” is now chief scientist at Opower, which focuses on using the psychological trick he coined to lower energy usage. It’s based on his famous “door-hanger” experiment: In 2007 he and colleagues went through neighborhoods in San Diego hanging notices on doors encouraging home dwellers to reduce their energy usage. Some of the signs nudged people to cut their consumption to save money or to be better citizens, but one simply said that “most people in the neighborhood” were conserving energy. It proved to be the most effective.”

    A Massive Social Experiment On You Is Under Way, And You Will Love It

    January 21, 2015

  • “70 percent of employees at the software company Opower in Virginia have standing desks including Carleigh Graves. "The first week of standing was challenging, my feet hurt. But I don't feel any pain anymore,” she says.

    Health experts want people to stand more. A new study finds sitting is linked to a higher risk of death, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, even for people who exercise regularly.”

    Study: Too Much Sitting Endangers Health

    January 19, 2015

  • “Opower reports that its technology platform has saved six terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy through more than 95 utility deployments worldwide both business and residential. The energy savings is equivalent to taking more than two million people—roughly the combined population of Alaska and Hawaii—off the grid for a full year; removing nearly 900,000 cars from the road for a year; or preserving 32,000 acres of forests. In addition to the reduced emissions, customers’ have saved more than $700 million in reduced power bills.”

    Opower Platform Reaches Six TWh of Energy Savings

    January 19, 2015

  • “Rootop solar power is a booming business in the United States. It's getting easier and easier to do financially and technologically. But the least technological aspect of the process, physically putting panels on a roof, may need to be rethought according to Opower (NYSE: OPWR  ), a utility data specialist. Its findings not only show that rooftop solar might benefit from a truly minor "tweak," but also proves just how important properly vetted utility data can be to the utility industry.”

    You're Doing it Wrong! Your Rooftop Solar Panels Aren't Facing the Right Way

    January 17, 2015

  • In October, we described an experiment that tried peer pressuring Americans into conserving electricity during peak hours. (Here’s why that’s important.) On high-demand days, a company called Opower telephoned people to remind them to cut back on their energy use. Each time, it followed up with e-mails telling people how much they saved compared with their neighbors.

    Perhaps it was peer pressure, or perhaps it was the telephone calls themselves that did the trick. Either way, people on those days used almost 3 percent less electricity on average, which is a pretty big decline as far as these things go. 

    Recently, the results of a similar experiment in Japan came out. That program posted similar numbers, but with an even milder nudge. All they did was ask politely.”

    Want people to save energy? Just ask nicely. (It works)

    January 8, 2015

Opower customers have