When it comes to electricity, being off the grid is a good thing. Opower reports that its home energy management software platform will help United States consumers save one terawatt hour of energy by the end of 2012, which is equal to removing 100,000 average homes off the grid for a full year.
More significantly, the company’s energy savings rate will be high enough at the end of 2012 to keep those homes off the grid permanently. If that projection holds, Opower’s energy savings rate will surpass the rate at which power is generated by the entire United States solar industry. Currently, Opower is more than a third of the way toward its goal, having saved more than 380 million kilowatt hours of energy through more than 30 live utility deployments.
Opower also announced the release of a new report by The Brattle Group that outlines statistically rigorous measurement and verification guidelines for utilities and regulatory agencies to use in determining the actual impact of information-based programs.
Dr. Ahmad Faruqui of the Brattle Group notes, “Home energy management is one of the most exciting sectors within the clean-tech industry, because households use more than a third of the energy consumed in the United States. For years, economics has been concerned with the effect of price on consumer behavior. While price effects are important, Opower demonstrates the importance of using information to shift the demand curve inward, resulting in less use even without changing prices.”
Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, agrees. “Our research has shown that giving people information allows them to take control and save energy and money."
Opower president and founder, Alex Laskey adds: “The future of home energy management hinges on our industry’s ability to deliver measurable energy savings to all consumers, not just those with access to high-tech devices or funds to make substantial changes to their homes. Information-based energy management programs are designed to engage all customers and help them make the level of investment in energy efficiency that makes sense for them. This customer-centric approach is the key behind the large-scale savings we’ve achieved to date, and gives us the opportunity to continue the conversation with millions of consumers, helping them manage their energy consumption on an ongoing basis.”
Opower’s measurement methodology and program results have been independently measured and verified by several industry analysts and non-profit organizations, including the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), The Brattle Group, Navigant Consulting, Power Systems Engineering, KEMA, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and established academics from several leading institutions. The company’s measurement protocols follow the guidelines specified by Public Utility Commissions across the country, including the California PUC’s Measurement & Verification Guidelines and EPA’s National Action Plan for Energy Efficiency (NAPEE) guidelines.
Source; Smart meters