|Founded||Arlington County, Virginia (2007)|
|Headquarters||Arlington, Virginia, U.S.|
|Key people||Dan Yates (CEO)
Alex Laskey (President)
Software as a Service
Social Energy App
Offers & Rebates
Utility CSR Tool
|Employees||500 (February 2014)|
Opower is a privately held Software-as-a-Service company that partners with utility providers around the world to promote energy efficiency. Through contracts with more than 93 utility companies in 35 U.S. states and 8 countries, Opower's software provides customers with better information about their energy consumption, along with personalized ways to save energy and money. Utilities use the Opower software platform to deliver key customer-facing applications that reduce energy demand and improve customer perception of the utility. The average customer receiving the Opower platform has cut energy usage by more than 2.5 percent.
Opower's energy reports currently reach 32 million homes. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy concluded in a June 2010 report that customer-feedback programs, like Opower's, could boost energy security, help the environment and save consumers money. According to the study, "feedback is proving a critical first step in engaging and empowering consumers to thoughtfully manage their energy resources".
History and growth
Founded in 2007 by long-time friends Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, Opower is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. As of June 2013, it employed more than 400 people in five offices: Arlington, San Francisco, London, Singapore, and Japan.
In June 2010, iLike founder Hadi Partovi joined Opower's board to advise on its West Coast growth strategy. In July 2010, Opower opened a second office in San Francisco and had Fred Butler, a former president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, join its Advisory Board.
In 2013, Opower added former utility CEOs John Rowe and Dick Kelly, and former White House Director, Carol Browner, to its Advisory Board. Tom Brady, former Chairman of BGE, was named Chairman of the Advisory Board. Also in 2013, Opower added Marcus Ryu, CEO of Guidewire, and Deep Nishar, SVP of Products and User Experience at LinkedIn, to its Board of Directors.
In November 2010, the company announced its third round of venture capital funding, a $50 million investment led by Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to accelerate its expansion.
In May 2013, Opower was named to the Inaugural CNBC Disruptors 50 List.
In November 2013, Opower was named the #1 fastest growing tech company in the DC region, and #20 in the US, by Deloitte.
Science and technology
Opower's software uses statistical algorithms to perform pattern recognition analysis from data in order to derive actionable insights for utility customers. Without any devices installed in the home, the platform can perform usage-disaggregation analysis, presenting end users information such as heating or cooling usage apart from overall usage, and thus allowing them to spot additional opportunities to save money.
Opower's Energy Reports incorporate the behavioral science techniques of Robert Cialdini, Opower's chief scientist and the author of Influence, a 1984 book on persuasion. The reports include targeted tips that seek to motivate customers to lower their energy consumption to the "normal" neighborhood rate. The reports also feature smiley-face emoticons for the most energy-efficient homes, a feature that Opower added after research showed that some consumers who used less energy than average started using more once they knew the norm. The reports also compare energy usage among neighbors with similarly sized houses.
The company mails the reports to consumers, but also offers the information in other formats, including internet portals, text messages, email and in-home energy displays. Opower's software enables customers to input more information to generate recommendations about specific types of energy use, such as air-conditioning and heating.
President Obama's visit
President Barack Obama visited Opower headquarters in Arlington on March 5, 2010. He touted the company as an economic "success story" amid a troubled economy and as a "great emblem" for clean-energy jobs.
He made the visit two months after announcing a "$2.3 billion program" of tax credits for "green jobs." "The work you do here...is making homes more energy efficient, it's saving people money, it's generating jobs, and it's putting America on the path to a clean energy future", Obama said at Opower.
The White House released a video of Obama's appearance.
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