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  • “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

  • “Opower Vice President Kevin Hamilton noted that "across the industry you saw big investments in the underlying technology infrastructure that allows us to push demand response forward."

    That underlying infrastructure includes data analytics capable of more quickly analyzing power demand, meaning response programs can be scaled up to millions of customers. It also involves significant work done to consider and improve the customer side of the experience, especially as companies increasingly see that boosting customer engagement with a program is key to maximizing its potential.

    That means in the future when utilities are considering demand response they may consider the programs an asset to their customer outreach, not just load management.

    2014 for demand response: The best of times, the worst of times

    December 16, 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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