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Opower 4 platform to use 'Big Data' to boost energy efficiency for utility customers
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Opower 4 platform to use 'Big Data' to boost energy efficiency for utility customers

Posted by Jeremy CowanNovember 23, 2012

Arlington, Virginia, USA. November 19, 2012 – Opower has released its new customer engagement platform, Opower 4. This uses behavioural science and big data analytics to promote consumer participation in a variety of utility programmes that support energy efficiency, smart grid and new rate adoption and customer satisfaction.

Opower manages energy data from over 50 million households across 75 utility deployments and then analyses that data, and combines it with other third party sources – including weather data, county assessor data, and other pieces of information – to provide homeowners with efficiency tips and insights.

“In order to address a number of strategic challenges, including rising supply costs and smart grid acceptance, utilities need to revolutionise their customer-facing infrastructure and deepen their relationship with their customers,” said Opower president and pounder, Alex Laskey. “The Opower platform is the only proven solution for the utility industry that drives greater customer collaboration and engagement, while meeting other important business objectives such as increasing energy efficiency.”

“National Grid is committed to helping our customers take control of their energy consumption through a variety of energy efficiency programs and partners,” said Marcy Reed, president, National Grid, MA. “Since we started working with Opower two years ago, we have continually expanded our partnership to bring new features and services to our customers that will help further reduce their energy use while realising significant dollar savings. The Opower platform is a proven tool that does just that.”

In June, Opower announced that it had partnered with Cloudera’s Hadoop software and support. Charles Zedlewski, vice president of Product at the company, said “Cloudera is uniquely able to empower data-driven enterprises like Opower to ask bigger questions of their large and complex data sets, dramatically improving the economics and performance of Big Data management. We’re proud that the global leader in utility customer engagement chose Cloudera as their platform for Big Data to help drive the bottom line.”

Opower 4 is the only global enterprise-class customer engagement platform designed specifically for the utility industry. The Opower 4 SaaS platform is powered by a patent-pending behaviour and energy analytics engine that continues to be refined as more than 15 million energy consumers interact with it at least on a monthly basis. An annual R&D investment of more than US$25 million aims to ensure that the Opower platform is on the leading edge of customer engagement capabilities as well as data privacy, security, compliance and big data analytics standards.

Opower 4 is organised into four proven, mutually reinforcing areas of customer interaction: Behavioural Engagement, Energy Information Services, Retail & Marketing Services, and Home Control. To date, the Opower platform has delivered 1.6 TeraWatt hours in verified energy savings to utility partners seeking to achieve cost-effective energy efficiency goals and has recorded up to 100% lifts in customer participation in utility-marketed programmes.

The new platform includes:
Big Data. The Opower platform analyses data from over 50 million households to provide customers with personalised tips and information.
Energy Alerts. Weekly AMI emails and unusual usage alerts show customers their energy use at a more granular level to drive greater energy savings.
Home Energy Control. Opower has partnered with Honeywell to create a one-of-a-kind behavioural thermostat solution that bridges the engagement gap between customers and their thermostats.
Upgraded Web Portal. The upgraded web portal includes a home energy usage disaggregation (with AMI data) that provides customers with insight into what is driving the largest energy consumption in the home.
Social Energy. Opower’s social energy app, a partnership with Facebook and NRDC, currently has 17 utility partners and more than 20 million households with access.

Several leading utilities, including National Grid and EnergyAustralia, will deploy the new platform. Utility customers will have access to a variety of communications channels, including home energy reports, web portals, emails, text messages, a mobile app, in-home devices, and the social energy app to better understand their energy consumption and learn ways to save.

“EnergyAustralia is committed to helping Australians save energy and money through innovative solutions,” said EnergyAustralia’s group executive manager, Retail, Adrian Merrick. We chose to partner with Opower to provide our energy customers with an engagement platform that uses leading technology and behavioral science to drive large-scale energy savings.”

Working with 75 utility partners and serving more than 15 million consumers across six countries, Opower is a leading provider of customer engagement solutions for the utility industry. By providing the tools, information and incentives consumers need to make smarter decisions about their energy use, Opower’s engagement platform and solution suite enables utilities to involve their customers in programmes that support, energy efficiency goals, smart grid and new rate structures, brand loyalty and lowering the cost of service. Founded in 2007 and privately held, Opower is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, with offices in San Francisco, USA and London, UK. Visit www.opower.com and Twitter at @Opower

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Jeremy Cowan

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