T&D World Magazine

Utilities Partner with OPOWER to Implement Smart Grid Customer Engagement Strategy

OPOWER has released OPOWER 3.0, its next-generation platform for advanced customer engagement (ACE). The platform is designed as a comprehensive front-end solution for smart grid deployments. It offers a new web portal and the introduction of in-home displays and mobile phones as content delivery mechanisms.

Several utilities, including Commonwealth Edison, will deploy the new platform. In addition to the mail, web and phone, utility customers will receive energy information through in-home displays and mobile phones. The cross-channel approach is designed to enable all customers to engage with their energy data and save on their bills, irrespective of income or access to technology.

“Achieving energy efficiency on a large scale is about engaging and motivating a very large percentage of the customer base,” said Alex Laskey, co-founder and president of OPOWER. “Our platform is designed to do just that – proactively engage customers across all available channels and help them save energy and money. We are very excited to work with our utility partners to help them deliver the value of the Smart Grid directly to their customers.”

OPOWER’s approach, which combines cross-channel information delivery, usage analytics, behavioral science and household-level message customization, is a formula used in large scale deployments. Currently deployed to more than one million homes, OPOWER products have delivered more than 100 GWHs and over $13 million in verified energy savings for utility customers. With the new platform and the more granular AMI data, the company expects to triple energy savings in 2010.

The new platform features a major new release of OPOWER’s online portal, re-designed to capitalize on two years of customer feedback. New and updated features to the portal include:

  • Simplified Data Display: The portal features dramatically improved energy data displays that are easy to understand and more effectively engage the customer.
  • Insight Dashboard: A new, patent-pending feature that conducts in-depth analysis of current usage data and displays actionable insights about home or small business energy use.
  • Progressive Audits: The next generation of online audits designed to improve completion rates by streamlining questions and allowing customers to answer only a few questions at a time.
  • Dynamic Rate Comparisons: A new section of the online portal allows customers to explore dynamic pricing options where available, complete with recommendations based on past energy use and what-if scenarios for future use.
  • Efficiency Community: A community section allows utility customers to support each other and share best practices about energy efficiency tips and providers in their area.

All of OPOWER’s 29 existing utility clients will be able to upgrade to the new platform as soon as their AMI infrastructure is in place. OPOWER expects to have more than five million active users on its platform by early 2011.

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