Opower: Opower Partners With Utilities To Help Customers Save Energy And Money

Daniel Yates, CEO
“In 2007, my cofounder Alex Laskey and I recognized that one of the most frustrating pieces of information that customers receive each month is their utility bill. Most customers don’t understand what a kilowatt hour or a therm is, and only look at the dollar figure at the top. We realized that if we could give people better information about their energy consumption, we could empower them to save. The idea of “Opening up energy information to customers” resulted in coining the company name— Opower. In six years, we have established dominance in the market by providing tools and products for utilities that result in sustained and verified energy outcomes. We focus on information based energy efficiency, that empowers customers to make smarter decisions about their energy consumption,” says Daniel Yates, CEO, Opower.

Opower partners with utility providers worldwide to promote energy efficiency, customer engagement and demand response. The firm partnered with its first utility client in year in 2007— the same year in which it was founded in Arlington, Virginia. Since then, the company has grown drastically into a well-capitalized business with more than 450 employees serving over 90 utilities— including 8 of the U.S.'s 10 largest. Its platform now reaches more than 22 million homes worldwide. The company provides customers with information about energy consumption, along with personalized ways to save energy and money. The experience scale and the track record of getting positive results consistently make Opower distinctive from its competitors.

Opower’s engagement platform and solution suite, Opower 4, enables utilities to involve their customers in programs that support energy efficiency goals, smart grid and new rate structures, improving brand loyalty and ultimately driving increased revenue and lowering the cost of service.

Opower’s solutions include energy engagement, behavioral energy efficiency, Behavioral Demand Response (BDR), and home energy management. Energy Engagement leverages push channels and just-in-time information to improve the utility customer experience. The firm’s energy-user suite creates marketing opportunities in ways that support customer engagement and retention strategies.

Opower pioneered behavioral energy efficiency as a new source of large-scale energy savings with its Home Energy Report (HER).
Opower provides users with normative analytics, goal-setting modules aimed at improving efficiency and personal targeted actions. The company delivers verifiable peak and overall energy savings from mass-market energy customers at a cost well below the industry average.

The firm’s BDR solution helps utilities to deploy cost-effective and reliable demand response programs at scale, without costly devices and the home energy management solution offers a way for utilities to extend their energy efficiency and demand response programs deeper into their territory by delivering a consumer focused experience. Specific demand response capabilities include a two-way thermostat and smart-meter data display. Opower has partnered with Honeywell to develop the software behind their wifi-enabled thermostat.

Today, the company works with 90 utilities in eight countries, including the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France and Japan. Partners include Exelon, E.ON UK, TEPCO, the largest utility in Japan, and PG&E. PG&E, one of the large Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) in California, works with Opower to engage all of their residential customers and a segment of the small and medium size business customers. PG&E was one of the first large utilities to roll out smart meters. Their initial rollout faced a number of problems, not because of technical issues but because customers did not understand the benefits. To fix this issue, Opower was tapped to become PG&E’s customer facing web portal. The firm began providing relevant information services to customers and is providing fully integrated web tools, and outbound channels such as SMS, e-mail and paper reports. The campaigns are not only focused on energy efficiency, but on education and transitioning to new rate plans, and for engagement using Wi-Fi enabled thermostats.

Opower’s mission is to motivate everyone, everywhere energy. The company, with an ambitious goal to expand domestically, and partner with new utilities around the world, will need to continue to navigate a complicated utility market to provide products and solutions that drive measurable business outcomes.


We are consistently able to motivate customers

Company
Opower

Headquarters
Arlington, VA

Management
Daniel Yates, CEO

Description
Works with utility providers to promote energy efficiency and customer engagement worldwide