Company Coverage

  • The leitmotif of the pieces you see collected in this Thread, based on my article in the current issue about the Generation Investment Management firm of London, is whether “sustainable” investing can actually pay off. Al Gore and his colleagues say: Yes! Look at our returns. Skeptics say: something must be fishy here.

    For this installment, we’ll hear from a company that Generation decided to take a large position in, after the elaborate decision-making process I described in the article. This note comes from Alex Laskey, president and co-founder of a software-as-service company called Opower.

    What Is It Like When Al Gore's Fund Invests in Your Company?

    October 31, 2015

  • The Energy Gang talks with Opower CEO Dan Yates about making utilities 'market makers' for distributed energy.

    Opower has evolved a lot over the years. The software provider started with a simple efficiency solution for utilities, and has since deepened its analytics and moved into demand response, billing, segmentation and customer care.

    One thing has stayed the same over the years: Opower firmly believes that the utility will be the arbiter of the distributed grid.

    Can Opower Keep Utilities in Control of the Distributed Grid?

    October 29, 2015

  • Arlington-based energy management firm Opower, in league with the likes of Google, Twitter, Facebook and Whole Foods, has been named to Fortune's first "Change the World" list, spotlighting companies making a major impact on worldwide social or environmental problems.Opower (NYSE: OPWR) landed at No. 45 on the list of 51 companies from around the world. No. 1 was the United Kingdom's Vodafone and Kenyan telecommunications firm Safaricom.”

    Opower plugs into a fresh Fortune 'Change the World' list

    August 21, 2015

  • Three years after opening its first office in San Francisco, Arlington-based Opower will move its Bay Area operations to a larger space to accommodate growth. Since 2012, the energy software company says its San Francisco staff has grown by nearly 150 percent, including engineering, product development and client services employees.”

    Opower makes move to accommodate Bay Area growth

    August 19, 2015

  • “Expanding our footprint in San Francisco has helped us bring in some of the brightest minds from the top customer [user experience] companies on Earth, including Amazon, Uber, Netflix and Google,” says Opower CEO Dan Yates. “This move allows us to work and collaborate more productively.”

    Opower makes move as Bay Area growth booms

    August 19, 2015

  • “Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB), reportedly the largest power firm in Malaysia, is using OPower software to host a pilot customer-engagement program to help customers manage energy use and save money, Opower told the press last week. The utility serves about 8.6 million customers in the Malaysian Peninsula and is the first utility in Southeast Asia to unveil a program of this kind, Opower said. The pilot will focus in on 200,000 homes in Klang Valley, Negeri Sembilan and Malacca. The new program gives customers personalized, free "home energy reports" and access to an online portal, Opower said. Customers can access their information in English or in Bahasa Malaysia, the nation's official language. They will get "clearly-defined information, including customized energy-saving tips based on past usage and household characteristics," Opower said.

    Malaysian utility pilots Opower customer engagement

    August 17, 2015

  • “The Obama administration recently unveiled the Clean Power Plan, a 15-year project aimed at reducing America’s detrimental dependence on fossil fuels. The plan has specific directives for each state to reduce their fossil fuel reliance by 2030. Alex Laskey, the president of Opower (an energy efficiency company) commented on the plan, saying that it will have stark implications for the energy industry and people’s lifestyles. Of course, that isn’t surprising for a firm plan that actually enacts significant change. In order to put a stop to climate change, the world has to stop consuming fossil fuels.”

    Obama Administration Clean Power Plan Will Force Positive Change

    August 15, 2015

  • “During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Dan Yates, CEO of Opower, announced that the energy-efficiency platform provider had landed a utility deal worth $50 million over six years. The contract is for Opower’s digital engagement solution and a large energy-efficiency program with an existing client. The utility was not named. In the first quarter, Opower signed its largest deal to date, a nearly $90 million, seven-year contract with Pacific Gas & Electric and a significant deal with Sacramento Municipal Utility District for enterprise-wide digital engagement and energy efficiency.”

    Opower Lands $50M Utility Deal

    August 12, 2015

  • “Arlington-based Opower (NYSE:OPWR) beat analyst expectations in its Q2 earnings. The utility management consulting and software developer announced on Tuesday that it had brought in a revenue of $35.8 million, just edging out the $35.3 million predicted and had adjusted net losses of 12 cents per share, beating the analyst expectations by 4 cents. Here's what else the report revealed.”

    Opower Beats Q2 Expectations

    August 11, 2015

  • “Energy efficiency is being trumpeted as the "low-hanging fruit" of U.S. energy policy and the "great test bed of bipartisanship" in Congress. But it's never been called exciting."Energy efficiency is invisible," said Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute of Market Transformation, which promotes energy efficiency through market incentives. "Energy efficiency is largely the absence of stuff. It is having a light not on, having fewer lights or better insulation. You don't see the insulation in the wall. You are not thinking about a comfortable home that is not cold. You only care when it is uncomfortable." Yet energy efficiency is a big deal. Last year alone, energy efficiency standards and upgrades saved the United States $800 billion in energy productivity -- with improved automotive fuel efficiency and reduced demands for electricity leading the way, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says. ACEEE said in a report last month that energy efficiency by 2050 can reduce power use by 40 to 60 percent from current forecasts.”

    Can policymakers make turnoffs a turn-on?

    August 7, 2015

  • “Opower, the king company of behavioral energy efficiency, keeps refining its wares. The company recently released what it describes as a major upgrade to its digital program. Called NextWeb, the platform is designed to engage utility customers with targeted web and mobile experiences. The platform helps utilities target customers with personalized and relevant content – such as bill analysis, energy use patterns and home energy audits – anywhere on their website in a highly customized fashion, according to Opower.”

    Quick Energy Efficiency News…Making Money on Home Demand Response…Fuel Cell Deals…Opower’s Latest Update

    August 4, 2015

  • “Utilities will have to play a central role in deploying smart grid technology and other DG measures to meet the requirements of the Clean Power Plan (CPP) that US President Barack Obama released yesterday, even as third-party vendors develop the technology they will use to do so, OPower Director of National Policy and Partnerships Richard Caperton told us yesterday. Opponents of the new EPA rules plan to mount a court challenge, national news services reported yesterday."The EPA has demonstrated a real ... openness toward DR and smart grid technology," Caperton said. "I fully expect them to talk about other smart grid technology and show that states submitting [CPP-compliance] plans that talk about smart grid technology will get a reasonable response."”

    Electric industry cautiously readies for CO2 rules

    August 4, 2015

  • “Solar and wind energy in the United States is likely to have a secure future thanks to President Barack Obama's plan to cut carbon emissions by forcing utilities to use renewable sources to produce electricity, the industry said on Monday.With its 2030 deadline, Obama's Clean Power Plan offers a degree of stability over the next 15 years to renewable energy companies which have historically relied on more precarious state and federal subsidies to drive growth.”

    Green energy sees secure future from Obama's climate plan

    August 3, 2015

  • On Monday, President Obama formally unveiled the Clean Power Plan — a massive 15-year project designed to make the US less dependent on non-renewable forms of energy, like coal and oil.As part of the plan, each state is expected to hit specific energy consumption goals by 2030. This means they'll have to rely less on electric power plants and more on the resources continually available to us: wind, solar, and water. The plan looks toward the long term, but Alex Laskey, president of energy software company Opower, says the changes to industry and lifestyle will be stark. 

    3 ways that Obama's huge new clean power plan will change how we consume energy

    August 3, 2015

  • “When Alex Laskey launched Opower eight years ago, there was just one chief customer officer in the entire U.S. utility industry -- and that person initially refused to meet with the startup. Opower has since become one of the biggest customer engagement platforms in the power sector. American utilities have also made some changes. At Opower’s annual summit in Miami, Florida earlier this year, there were 26 chief customer officers in attendance. And there are far more throughout the utility industry these days. “It’s an indication of our growth, but also of the industry’s transformation,” said Laskey in a recent interview.”

    A culture shift gains momentum in the century-old utility industry

    July 30, 2015

  • Let’s be honest. Would you be more apt to conserve energy—say, turn down the air conditioner or switch to LEDs—if you were told: 1.) you’ll save money 2.) you’ll help the environment or 3.) your neighbors do it? If you’re like almost everyone, “neighbors” is the true answer. Whatever our age, race, gender or country, behavioral science has proven the power of peer pressure in many spheres, including energy.

    How keeping up with the Joneses could save you money

    July 17, 2015

  • “The D.C. area has a deep well of technical talent, in large part because of how many people with IT skills are employed or contracted by government agencies. Tech companies in the private sector are eager to snap up those workers to fill open jobs. A combination of technical ability and connections with government agencies—along with relative stability compared to a startup-hopping Silicon Valley programmer—makes tech firms keen to hire such workers whenever they can.”

    Why DC tech companies are poaching federal talent

    July 13, 2015

  • “Opower’s technology platform has saved over eight TWh of energy across nearly 100 utility deployments worldwide.“This milestone is a tribute to the incredible work of our utility partners,” said Dan Yates, Opower CEO. “Saving eight terawatt-hours is proof of the kind of results that scaled technology and personalized energy insight can deliver for utilities, customers and the environment.””

    Opower and utility partners save over Eight Terawatt-hours of energy

    July 9, 2015

  • “National Grid was the first east coast utility to employ Opower's Home Energy Reports from the demand management provider's efficiency program, and it appears to be working. The two companies said yesterday that customers saved more than $70 million using the company's targeted data, conservarion suggestions and behavioral nudges.”

    National Grid nets $70M in customer savings with Opower efficiency program

    July 8, 2015

  • Behavioral energy efficiency continues to prove itself, this time with news from Opower and National Grid that Massachusetts electric and gas customers saved $70 million through Opower‘s Home Energy Reports.The utility reduced its electric use by 300 million kWh and gas usage by 18 million therms through the program.”

    Quick energy efficiency news

    July 7, 2015

  • “The Department of Energy (DOE) recently proposed increasing energy efficiency standards for residential gas furnaces. While the regulation pursues multiple goals, the agency's case for establishing the standard ultimately rests on its claim that forcing consumers to purchase more energy-efficient furnaces will save consumers money. However, the agency's approach to energy efficiency is flawed. Studies suggest that the agency's estimates may be too optimistic, and consumers may not actually realize the promised energy savings. [. . .} Private companies provide tools that consumers can use to easily compare the energy savings from more efficient furnaces. For example, Opower teams up with utilities around the country to provide utility customers feedback on energy use through its Home Energy Report”

    Debate over furnace efficiency standards heats up

    July 6, 2015

  • “The seed that we planted in this man’s mind may change everything.” – Dom Cobb (Inception)
    While the quote above reads to most with only a Leonardo DiCaprio-style swagger, it is rapidly becoming the prophecy of many innovators. From Silicon Alley to Silicon Valley, investors are captivated by startups leveraging research in cognitive science to affect user behavior. Timeful, FitStudio, and OPower are three of the most recent seeds planted to help users become better versions of themselves.”

    Planting The Seed: Silicon Valley, Mind Control And Finding Order In Chaos

    June 30, 2015

  • “Opower (NYSE:OPWR), the global leader in cloud-based software for the utility industry, today announced four appointments to its international leadership team to support the company’s growth in Europe and Asia. Opower’s international business is now led by Nadeem Sheikh, who has been promoted to Senior Vice President and General Manager, International, based in the U.K. An Opower veteran, Sheikh previously served as Opower’s Managing Director in Asia and also led Opower’s expansion to the U.S. West Coast. He is now responsible for all aspects of Opower’s business outside the Americas.”

    Opower Boosts International Leadership to Support Global Growth

    June 4, 2015

  • “OPWR had a great quarter that showed it closing two huge wins - big renewal and a recapture of its first ever customer. OPWR has slowly been optimizing its sales funnel as its salesforce matures, it appears it now has the sales road map dialed in. OPWR continues to make progress in closing its non-GAAP financial losses which is a good sing for those long the stock.

    Buy Opower: Two Huge Wins Are Just The Beginning

    June 4, 2015

  • “Opower, the company which brought behavioral demand response into the demand management lexicon, announced this morning it had scaled up its platform to reach 1.5 million homes this summer. And as the program expands – utilizing personalized communications and data analysis in place of direct-control technologies – utilities are increasingly viewing the the “behavioral” aspects of demand response as a cost-effective add-on to their traditional programs.”

    How Opower is pushing behavioral demand response into the mainstream

    May 27, 2015

  • Opower’s energy efficiency technology platform has saved over eight terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy across nearly 100 utility deployments worldwide.Opower has continued to invest in its technology platform to drive greater outcomes at scale for utilities and their customers. Saving eight TWh’s is equivalent to:    
    • More than $1 billion in bill savings for utility customers;    
    • Taking more than 1.1 million cars off the road for a year; and
    • The energy needed to power all the homes in New Mexico or Rome for a year.

    Opower utility partners save more than 8 terawatt hours of electric power

    May 27, 2015

  • It’s not the only approach — the D.C. and Maryland utilities Pepco and Baltimore Gas and Electric offer what is sometimes called a “peak time rebate,” giving individuals a credit if they use less power at peak times. Here, notes Faruqui, there’s no penalty or higher cost for using more energy at that critical moment — there’s just a potential benefit for using less. “It’s not a carrot and stick program, just a carrot program,” he says.But it seems to work: In the summer of 2013, Baltimore Gas and Electric customers saved $ 7 million through a peak time rebate program that was amplified by digital communications with 315,000 of the company’s customers enabled by Opower, a firm that works with utilities to facilitate these kinds of customer programs.

    You should be saving energy and money on hot summer days. Here’s why you’re (probably) not

    May 21, 2015

  • “Opower has signed its largest deal to date, a nearly $90 million, seven-year contract with Pacific Gas & Electric. Specific details of the contract were not given on the company’s first-quarter earnings call on Tuesday.“This contract with PG&E validates our belief that utilities seek to consolidate their customer engagement solutions with a single strategic vendor,” Dan Yates, CEO of Opower, said in a statement. “We believe our platform is the solution that utilities need as they replace disjointed applications that are costly to maintain and produce an unsatisfying experience for customers.””

    Opower Books $90M Contract With PG&E—Its Biggest Ever

    May 13, 2015

  • “Arlington, Va.-based Opower (OPWR), the developers of cloud-based, utility industry-targeted, energy analytics software, has released their Q1 earnings report. The company posted a net loss of 12 cents per share, beating analysts estimates by 4 cents, and revenue of $33.42 million, beating estimates by $710,000 and representing 17 percent year-over-year growth.”

    Opower Starts off 2015 by Beating Expectations

    May 12, 2015

  • “The company Opower has pushed the power of social norms by transforming boring and confusing power bills into engaging, proactive customer dialogues. The company’s Facebook app (see Figure 9.1 below) lets you access your own power consumption measurements, and compare your energy-saving performance with your friends’, all in real time. The company claims that in its start-up phase from 2007 to 2013, its services saved enough energy to power all of the homes in an American city of eight hundred thousand people, such as Indianapolis or San Francisco, for a year.”

    Wondering how to get people to go green? Tell them that’s what their neighbors are doing

    May 10, 2015

  • “Loveland Water and Power (LWP) in Colorado is a municipally owned utility providing Loveland customers power, water and wastewater utility needs. In this installment of our Utility2Utility series, we talk with Gretchen Stanford, customer relations manager for LWP about customer expectations and how the utility is meeting those. ”

    Utility2Utility: LWP

    May 7, 2015

  • “The opportunity is enormous. Under the joint climate agreement, China intends to peak its carbon emissions and generate one-fifth of its energy from clean sources within 15 years. The latter target alone amounts to building about a billion kilowatts of new, low-carbon capacity — a fleet of power plants roughly the size of the entire U.S. electrical grid.”

    Trade with China isn’t just growing our economy; It’s slowing climate change.

    May 6, 2015

  • “For instance, Opower's core offering which features analytics, marketing automation and a delivery engine played an important role in Baltimore Gas & Electric's roll out of the Smart Energy Program. The program, a behavioral-based demand response, produced personalized analysis on how to achieve energy savings. ”

    How utilities can address branding issues

    May 1, 2015

  • “Opower, a US-based energy software company, has found an effective way of lowering its business travel costs without having a similar effect on the spirits of its globe-trotting employees.As part of a pilot scheme, every time a participating worker takes a trip for the company they are given a budget to beat. Of whatever they save, they keep 40 per cent in points. Opower keeps track of who is saving the most and least and publishes a weekly league table, which is shared by email among its 600 staff.

    Everyone’s a winner in the game to cut business travel costs

    April 30, 2015

  • “Opower is allied with the old incumbents, yet Yates and Laskey compare their company to upstarts in other industries such as Zipcar, which can help people forgo car-ownership, and Airbnb, which may ultimately mean that fewer hotels are built. “Instead of producing new power plants and new electricity,” says Laskey, “we are helping utilities use their own customers as an asset and changing the way electricity is used and when.””

    “The Risk of Inaction”

    April 29, 2015

  • “Over the past year, in the wake of an IPO, Opower has continued to book business beyond its core offering of home energy reports in the residential sector. The Washington, D.C.-based company now boasts a partnership with FirstFuel that allows it compete for utility business across all customer classes. In a Q1 earnings call, CEO Dan Yates said Opower expects to be profitable in 2017.”

    Grid Edge 20: The Top Companies Disrupting the US Electric Market

    April 23, 2015

  • “Let's start with Opower. The company offers a suite of online services to enable utilities to better service, and thus retain, their customer base. CEODan Yates told me the company is investing just about the whole works into fully developing its range of customer-service products. But what matters is that the company steadily brings aboard one utility after another, since the bigger utilities can each bring upward of 10,000 new indirect customers.”

    2U and Opower: Changing their industries while aiming for profitability

    April 16, 2015

  • “KSV's research joins a growing body that indicates how and when a utility interacts with consumers is vitally important to effecting change in their habits. Earlier this month Opower released a white paper entitled “Moments that Matter,” focusing on how a dozen types of utility-consumer interactions can be leveraged.”

    Why utilities need to change the way consumers think about efficiency

    April 14, 2015

  • “It's been just more than a year since Arlington-based Opower went public, a high-profile, national event that raked in more than $100 million for the energy software company. I caught up with CEO and co-founder Dan Yates this week about what's changed for the company since the IPO. Mostly it's business as usual — the company is investing aggressively in expanding its client base and technology platform — but he mentioned four changes that should sound familiar to other IPO-ing CEOs.”

    One year after the IPO: 4 things that have changed for Opower

    April 10, 2015

  • “The simplest measure is to persuade consumers to stop throwing energy away, for example by heating or cooling empty rooms. Spotting such waste and helping to cut it is becoming a decent business. Opower, a data-analytics firm, crunches figures on size, occupancy, location and energy bills to find trends and make suggestions to 50m, mostly American, households. Pacific Gas and Electric, a utility in California, says that in 2013 Opower saved it 500 gigawatt-hours, or nearly 75,000 homes-worth, of consumption. Its customers saved more than $50m.”

    Green around the edges

    April 9, 2015

  • Opower is working with Oracle Utilities to enable utilities to integrate Opower’s customer insights into their systems powered by Oracle, and Oracle’s operational insights into Opower’s customer engagement platform.”

    Opower Teams with Oracle Utilities

    April 7, 2015

  • “The results indicate an opportunity for utilities: while reliable service and value remain important, nearly half of all North American respondents in a global survey of 7,000 utility customers said that improvements in customer service could have the biggest impact on satisfaction with their energy provider.”

    Survey: Utility-customer relationships hinge on few key moments

    April 2, 2015

  • “Better customer service can help utilities unlock hundreds of millions in value, but it requires grasping a central concept: Some moments matter more than others.That's the basic idea behind new research from Opower, which looks to find ways utilities can turn a better customer experience into savings and revenue. And the potential is significant, perhaps more than $40 annually per home, the company said. ”

    Opower research: By leveraging 'moments that matter' utilities can drive satisfaction and savings

    April 1, 2015

  • “At their core, machine learning tools capture lots of complex information, learn from it, then apply what they learn to better estimate unknowns and predict future events.As the keepers of enormous datasets that defy conventional analysis, utilities could benefit from machine learning in a big way. Here are seven fundamental business challenges it could help them solve.”

    7 reasons why utilities should be using machine learning

    March 22, 2015

  • “Typically, Germans can rely on coal-fired power plants to pick up the slack at night, when power demand is relatively low anyway. But those can take many hours to fire up, and the eclipse is expected to make solar output dip nearly three times faster than normal, according to a recent analysis by energy software company Opower.”

    Europe Goes Dark

    March 19, 2015

  • “The whole thing will happen pretty quickly, as Opower explains in its blog post. On the morning of March 20, the moon will go from blocking 1% to 73% of the sun in the span of 75 minutes. When that happens, solar power generation will drop dramatically. Cloud cover could cause it to drop even further than it would otherwise during an eclipse.”

    What Happens When The World's Biggest Solar Nation Gets Hit With A Solar Eclipse?

    March 17, 2015

  • “These fluctuations, and how utilities choose to cope with them, provide a preview of what utilities in the U.S. and other nations face, as renewable energy production soars in coming decades, according to an analysis from Opower, a software company that uses data to help utilities improve the customer experience.”

    Upcoming solar eclipse to wreak havoc on Germany's solar power output

    March 12, 2015

  • 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