Opower…this is your profile
The Washington Post reports on an interesting development. If people aren’t able to “see” how they personally fit in to the ‘economy’ or ‘carbon footprint’ in a real way, they often ignore the ‘problem’ or keep it so abstract it does not touch them.
Three years ago, Dan Yates and Alex Laskey, the co-founders of Arlington-based Opower, came to a conclusion: People cared about their carbon footprint, for the most part, but needed a blueprint for reducing it. The longtime friends recognized an opportunity to create that path by providing people with an analysis of their electricity consumption.
Since then, Opower has blossomed into one of the rising stars of the energy industry, on track to post a $35 million profit this year, roughly eight times its revenue in 2008, according to the privately held company.
“We’re starting to see stronger adoption of Opower’s product by a lot of operators,” said Teresa Mastrangelo, an analyst with researcher Smart Grid Trends. “It’s a very simple way to start educating consumers on how they use energy.”
Opower essentially takes raw data, obtained from a utility company that contracts its services, and creates detailed reports on how customers’ consumption compares with their neighbors. The report also provides customized tips for each customer to address wasteful behavior. What’s more, the Opower team, made up of 105 employees, redesigns utility Web sites, offering e-mails and text alerts to update customers on usage…
I know of a dozen such companies who do energy audits in the DFW metro-plex alone. They focus on your house and water usage since they are the greatest energy hogs. This is where you make the biggest impact on a families energy usage (and thus carbon footprint). I just had R-49 installed in the attic and its had a huge impact already on the house. (hopefully will also on the bills, we are getting 100+ days down here). Most people are already going with native/native adapted plants to cut water usage. Short of a much smaller house I’m not going to get any more energy savings. ROI on all the other recommended (really not recommended by the company that did ours) was over 15+ years.
One place I could still make big energy savings would be installation of solar panels. Once the ROI drops to 5 years I’m in…but not there yet.
This has been a growing market for some time now – some of these companies have been in business for a decade or more. Glad your pointing this out.
Islam will change
Dan, my power Co. uses something similar to compare my bill to neighbors.
Our company does not.
Mine does to, and so does the water department (they also give you the last 18 months of billing/usage as does the power company).
The water department will even call you if there is a sudden increase in water usage. I kow one neighbor who got warned of an underground water pipe break becuase of this and got it fixed before things got totally out of hand. Small, efficient government at its best.
The natural gas guys do this also.
Islam will change