Thursday, October 15, 2009

Seattle Utility To Provide Customers with Comparative Data

10/15/2009 News

Seattle City Light, the nation’s ninth largest public electric utility, has launched a new energy efficiency program through which 20,000 randomly selected homeowners will begin receiving reports comparing their monthly energy usage to other customers.

The Home Energy Reports will be generated by energy efficiency software company OPOWER.

It is hoped that the information will encourage customers to reduce energy consumption and save money on their monthly utility bills.

“The OPOWER Home Energy Reports deliver significant value to our customers by arming them with the information they need to control their monthly electricity bills and reduce their impact on the environment,” said Bob Balzar, conservation resources director for Seattle City Light. “Based on the success of Home Energy Reports at utilities across the country, we expect the program to result in considerable savings for our customers, while enabling us to offset new energy demands through better efficiency and conservation practices.”

OPOWER says the Home Energy Reports are created using advanced analytics to evaluate customers’ energy usage patterns, combined with behavioral science techniques proven to motivate action. Each report provides an anonymous, detailed analysis of individual monthly energy use as compared to similar households within the same geographic location, while recommending specific energy efficiency tips for every customer based on their household characteristics.

The program is expected to generate more than $500,000 in electricity bill savings for Seattle residents over the next 12 months--all through simple behavior changes and by utilizing the energy efficiency tips provided in the Home Energy Reports.

“The Home Energy Report program will enable Seattle City Light to more effectively engage their customers to help them better understand their energy use and provide insight into the simple steps they can take to realize significant energy and cost savings,” said Alex Laskey, president and co-founder of OPOWER.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) in 2008 began conducting a similar experiment with 35,000 of its customers.

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