Arlington, Va.-based OPower and Connexus Energy, Ramsey, Minn., announced the first full-year results of their residential energy-efficiency program. The program, which features Opower’s award-winning Home Energy Reports, delivered a 2.1% reduction in electrical energy consumption and close to $1 million in annual savings for Connexus customers. The independently measured and verified results are consistent with similar OPower deployments in more than 20 states and reinforce the company’s impact across a wide range of climates and demographic segments, including political affiliations. In contrast to some of the company’s initial deployments, the Connexus program was run in a largely conservative district. Connexus, the largest customer-owned utility in Minnesota, is the first utility in the state to offer such a program.
“The OPower energy-efficiency program has been a bona fide success in helping our customers save money on their bills, and helping Connexus meet its state-mandated energy conservation goals,” said Bruce Sayler, manager of regulatory affairs and conservation at Connexus. “Our customers have given us great feedback on the Home Energy Reports and it’s clear that they’re using them to make smarter decisions about their energy consumption.”
The effectiveness of OPower’s Home Energy Reports at Connexus was independently assessed by Power System Engineering, Inc. (PSE). PSE’s comprehensive analysis incorporated monthly billing data, program specific characteristics, customer demographics and climate data over a three-year period. The study concluded robust and tangible energy savings for the program at 2.% for the first year.
“We’ve seen evidence that OPower’s program was effective in hotter parts of the country; however, the program has worked remarkably well here in Minnesota where average temperatures are cooler and electrical consumption per household is a bit lower than in warmer climates,” said Sayler.
OPower’s innovative energy efficiency program is becoming more commonplace at utilities across the country. More than 35 utilities have signed up to implement its unique approach to scaling residential energy efficiency, which combines patent-pending data analytics that evaluate customers’ energy usage patterns with cutting-edge behavioral science techniques proven to motivate action. OPOWER’s household-tailored Home Energy Reports allow customers to see how their electricity use compares to similarly-sized homes in their neighborhood, and provides personalized suggestions on how to save more energy and money.
“We’re delighted that the program has helped Connexus meet its conservation targets and deliver meaningful energy savings to its customers,” said OPower President, Alex Laskey. “It’s also gratifying to see this program work so consistently across all areas of the country and all walks of life, from low to high income customers, conservatives and liberals, and the young and old. It shows that energy efficiency is of interest to everyone ⁙ they just need the right tools and information to improve.”