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…