The Opower program was highlighted this week in the Behavior Change and Energy Use Report, which was issued by U.K. Prime Minister Cameron’s Behavioral Insights team in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The report details how the government is working with the private sector to address the country’s energy challenges, supporting policies designed to ease rising energy prices for consumers and reduce emissions to address climate change. The central feature of the government’s strategy is the deployment of smart meters to each U.K. household by 2019, devices that can use energy management programs such as the one provided by Opower.
First Utility founder Mark Daeche, says, “We know that household budgets are under increasing pressure, and that energy bills are part of that. At First Utility, we are able to provide cutting-edge home energy management tools enabled by our recently deployed Smart Meters. We have partnered with Opower, a leading energy management software provider in the United States, to help us deliver the best utility customer experience in the U.K., and help our customers save on their bills.”
First Utility, claim to be the only U.K. energy company to offer smart meters to all of its customers, will utilize Opower’s software platform to translate its customers’ smart meter data into a variety of new energy-saving tools. Customers will be engaged via mailed reports, web portal, email, SMS messages, and social media; a multi-format approach designed to reach all demographics to drive a higher level of customer engagement, which in turn will increase energy savings.
As the first large-scale, information-based energy efficiency program in the U.K., Opower and First Utility plan to work in consultation with the Behavioral Insights Team and DECC to assess the program’s ability to affect and inform future smart meter policy.
Opower president and co-founder Alex Laskey notes: “We are thrilled to be taking our company global with a customer-focused utility like First Utility, and by the very public acknowledgement we have received from Prime Minister Cameron’s Government. When President Obama visited our Arlington office in March of 2010, we were 60 employees working on a pilot basis with two dozen utilities. Today, as we announce our first global client in the U.K., we are more than 200 employees, working with nearly 60 utilities and reaching 10 million households. Opower is demonstrating that American innovation is well received abroad and that utilities all around the world are looking to provide cutting-edge energy management tools to their customers and help them become more efficient users of energy.”