Innovative US energy management software company Opower is coming to the UK thanks to a new partnership with independent energy supplier First Utility.
In a trial announced by the Government yesterday to test the waters for its flagship Green Deal scheme, First Utility will add Opower’s home energy management platform to its smart meters, which it offers to all its customers.
Opower’s software allows smart meter data to be analysed and displayed in a range of different ways designed to be helpful to the consumer, such as household-specific consumption patterns, detailed usage information, comparisons with similar neighbouring properties and high bill alerts.
Customers can get access to their usage data through bills, online, email and SMS messaging and even social media.
In the US, Opower’s software has been trialled by nearly 60 utilities across 25 states, with consumers responding positively to usage data indicating how their performance compares with their neighbours.
To date, the company claims that its software has helped US consumers to save over 400 GWh of electricity.
Opower believes that its software could save the average UK household £10-30 a year through purely behavioural changes, adding up to £250-290 million a year and 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 (assuming 15 million households).
First Utility and Opower’s trial will be the first large-scale information-based energy efficiency programme of its type in the UK, and the partners plan to work with the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team.
The Government’s ‘nudge’ team is working closely with the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the rollout of smart meters to the UK’s homes and businesses over the next decade to ensure that the programme delivers the promised energy savings.
The trial also marks Opower’s first foray into the UK market.
“We are thrilled to be taking our company global with a customer-focused utility like First Utility,” says Opower president and co-founder Alex Laskey.
For further information:
UK Government launches trials to make home insulating easier (6-Jul)
First Utility offers smart meters across UK (29-Oct 2010)
07 July 2011