Information-based energy efficiency (IBEE) is the new buzz in large scale energy savings, and Opower is one of the companies leading the pack. Utilitizing the power of social media and the information gleaned from massive amounts of data, Opower is helping Americans save incredible amounts of energy (and plenty of money) each month.
As of May 2012, they reached a milestone, saving their subscribers 1 terawatt hour of power. While that may sound like an arbitrary number, Opower explains that 1 terawatt hour of power is enough to power 90,000 homes for a year and translates to $120,000,000 in savings for Americans.
How do they do it? Have you ever tried to understand your utility bill? Most likely it’s a vague representation of how you use energy in your home. With very little detail and no way to understand your energy patterns, most utility bills leave customers confused and unable to take action. Opower seeks to change that dynamic.
Calling it a “new experience for utility customers” and the “new normal”, their programs include home energy reports that deliver personalized information on your energy use compared to your neighbors, and offer ways to save energy that are tailored to your personal usage. You get smiley and sad faces that tell you if you’re doing good, great, or not so good on your energy savings. It seems like a simple step, but has proven to be incredibly powerful in saving lot of energy for their customers.
Slated to save another terawatt of energy for Americans by the end of 2012, Opower is on a roll. From their humble beginnings in 2007 at a rented desk in San Francisco, they now are partnered with some 60 utilities, the largest of which serves over 10 million customers alone. According to CEO and founder Dan Yates, this is only the beginning. Just last week, Opower launched my:Energy in partnership with First Utility, the largest utility provider in the UK. That marked the company’s official entry into the international energy saving arena.