Opower

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Opower
Type Public
Traded as NYSEOPWR
Industry Software
Founded Arlington County, Virginia (2007)
Founders Dan Yates
Alex Laskey
Headquarters Arlington, Virginia, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Dan Yates (CEO)
Alex Laskey (President)
Products Energy Reporting
Software as a Service
Web Portal
Energy Alerts
Social Energy App
Offers & Rebates
Thermostat App
Utility CSR Tool
Employees 500 (February 2014)
Website opower.com

Opower is a publicly held Software-as-a-Service company that provides cloud-based software to the utility industry and transforms the way utilities relate to their customers. Working with 95+ utilities and serving 50+ million homes in 9 countries, Opower's customer engagement platform positions utilities as trusted energy advisors to the customers they serve. Opower's software provides customers with better information about their energy consumption, along with personalized ways to save energy and money. Opower's technology platform analyzes more than 300 billion meter reads to deliver its services, and has created enough energy savings through behavior change to power all the homes in a city of 1 million people for a year. The average customer receiving the Opower platform has cut energy usage by more than 2.5 percent.[1]

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy concluded in a June 2010 report[2] 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[edit]

Founded in 2007 by long-time friends Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, Opower is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. As of February 2014, it employed more than 500 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.[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]

On September 1, 2010, the World Economic Forum announced the company as a Technology Pioneer for 2011.[6]

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.[7]

During a visit to Opower headquarters in Arlington in 2010, President Obama said the company's growth is "a model of what we want to be seeing all across the country".[8]

In May 2013, Opower was named to the Inaugural CNBC Disruptors 50 List.[9]

In November 2013, Opower was named the #1 fastest growing tech company in the DC region, and #20 in the US, by Deloitte.[10]

CEO Dan Yates gave the keynote address at the Cleantech Group's Cleantech Forum in San Francisco in March 2014. [11]

Opower held its initial public offering on April 4, 2014.[12]

Science and technology[edit]

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.[13]

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.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] Opower's software enables customers to input more information to generate recommendations about specific types of energy use, such as air-conditioning and heating.[17]

President Obama's visit[edit]

OPOWER-Wiki.jpg

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.[18]

He made the visit two months after announcing a "$2.3 billion program"[19] 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.[20]

The White House released a video of Obama's appearance.[21]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Energy Use: Neighbor vs. Neighbor", Bloomberg Businessweek, 9 November 2009.
  2. ^ "Advanced Metering Initiatives and Residential Feedback Programs: A Meta-Review for Household Electricity-Saving Opportunities," American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, June 2010
  3. ^ "Opower to Expand to West Coast, Names iLike Founder Hadi Partovi to Advisory Board," TechCrunch, June 29, 2010
  4. ^ "Former CEOs of Xcel, Exelon Join Opower, Electric Light & Power, June 10, 2013
  5. ^ "Opower adds Guidewire's Marcus Ryu and Linkedin's Deep Nishar to Board,""All Things Digital", September 16, 2013
  6. ^ Thirty-One Visionary Companies Selected as Technology Pioneers 2011
  7. ^ "Opower plans expansion with $50 million investment," The Washington Post, Nov. 30, 2010
  8. ^ "Remarks by the President on Clean Energy Jobs," White House press release, March 5, 2010
  9. ^ "CNBC Disruptor 50" CNBC, May 20, 2013
  10. ^ "Technology Fast 500 2013 Ranking", Deloitte, November 13, 2013
  11. ^ "Opower CEO Dan Yates #CFSF14 Keynote - Passion, Science, Incremental Change, Vimeo, March 12, 2014
  12. ^ "Opower IPO: Opens up strong, starts trading at $25 per share", Gigaom, April 4, 2014
  13. ^ "Opower Separates Heat, Light in Home Energy," Greentech Media, December 17, 2009
  14. ^ "Finding the 'Weapons' of Persuasion to Save Energy," New York Times, June 21, 2010, originally published in ClimateWire
  15. ^ "Do you use more energy than your neighbors?" USA Today, 1 February 2010
  16. ^ "Opower looks to add human touch to smart grid," CNET, May 2, 2010
  17. ^ "OPOWER’s New Marketplace Entices Homeowners To Become Energy Efficient". The Daily Energy Report. Retrieved 29 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Remarks by the President on Clean Energy Jobs," White House release, March 5, 2010
  19. ^ "Obama unveils $2.3 billion for clean energy jobs," CNN Money, January 8, 2010
  20. ^ "Can Small Lifestyle Changes Lead to Huge CO2 Cuts?," Time, March 17, 2010
  21. ^ "Creating New Jobs in a Clean Energy Economy," White House YouTube channel, March 5, 2010

External links[edit]