|Subsidiary of Oracle Corporation|
|Successor||Oracle Corporation in 2016|
|Founded||San Francisco, California (2007)|
|Headquarters||Arlington County, Virginia, U.S.|
| Scott Neuman (Group Vice President)|
|Products||Demand Side Management/Energy Efficiency|
Software as a Service
Connected Homes/Customer Engagement
Peak Management/Load Shaping
Digital Self Service
DER Customer Engagement
Call Center Interface
Opower was an American company founded in 2007, that provides a software-as-a-service customer engagement platform for utilities. It existed as an independent corporation until its acquisition by Oracle Corporation in 2016. The Opower product line is under the Oracle Utilities global business unit.
Opower was founded in 2007 in Arlington, Virginia by two Harvard University graduates, Dan Yates and Alex Laskey. The two partners met as freshman at Lowell House at Harvard and later reconnected while living in San Francisco. Prior to Opower, Laskey had worked on a political campaign involving energy issues and around that time he started reading the book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (1983) by Robert B. Cialdini, which outlines what influenced Southern Californians to save energy. In the book there was conclusive evidence that "social proof" (part of nudge theory) worked, a concept grounded in the principle of normative social behavior you could behaviorally influence others. Yates and Laskey realized that at the time, the energy market was focused on new technologies and by applying information services the market could be disrupted.
The initial service they developed was the energy-efficiency campaigns, detailed home-energy reports which incorporated behavioral science techniques. 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.
President Obama's visit (2010)
One of Opower's Series A investors was New Cycle Capital, helmed by Josh Becker, who also founded the group Clean Tech for Obama early in the 2008 election cycle and later advised the administration on issues such as PACE financing. 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. During the visit, Obama said the company's growth is "a model of what we want to be seeing all across the country."
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.
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.
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.
Science and technology
Opower's software uses statistical algorithms to perform pattern recognition analysis from data in order to derive information 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. Since the launch of the Opower platform and service, the average customer using Opower has cut energy usage by 2% to 5%, reducing 13 billion lbs of CO2 emissions.
Awards and honors
In May 2013, Opower was named to the Inaugural CNBC Disruptors 50 List.
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- "Do you use more energy than your neighbors?" USA Today, 1 February 2010
- "Series A - Opower". Crunchbase. Crunchbase. Retrieved 25 January 2020.
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- "Remarks by the president on Clean Energy Jobs," White House release, March 5, 2010
- "Remarks by the president on Clean Energy Jobs," White House press release, March 5, 2010
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- "Can Small Lifestyle Changes Lead to Huge CO2 Cuts?," Time, March 17, 2010
- "Creating New Jobs in a Clean Energy Economy," White House YouTube channel, March 5, 2010
- "Former CEOs of Xcel, Exelon Join Opower, Electric Light & Power, June 10, 2013
- Thirty-One Visionary Companies Selected as Technology Pioneers 2011
- "Opower plans expansion with $50 million investment," The Washington Post, Nov. 30, 2010
- "Opower IPO: Opens up strong, starts trading at $25 per share", Gigaom, April 4, 2014
- Sakoda, Jon (2014-04-13). "Opower's journey to going public". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
- Gregg, Aaron (2016-05-02). "Oracle agrees to buy Arlington energy data firm Opower for $532 million". Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-05-06.
- "Opower Separates Heat, Light in Home Energy," Greentech Media, December 17, 2009
- "Energy Use: Neighbor vs. Neighbor", Bloomberg Businessweek, 9 November 2009.
- "CNBC Disruptor 50" CNBC, May 20, 2013
- "Technology Fast 500 2013 Ranking", Deloitte, November 13, 2013
- Video: Alex Laskey: How behavioral science can lower your energy bill (2013) from TED on YouTube
- Video: Energy saving: Deena Rosen at TEDxUtrecht (2014) from YouTube, former head of design at Opower
- Podcast: Dan Yates, Co-Founder & former CEO of Opower (2019) on Apple Podcasts
- Article: Opower CEO Dan Yates, on Saving Power for the People (2014) from The Mercury News