Last month, I received notification from Georgia Power that I was selected to participate in a pilot program for a Home Energy Report powered by Opower. Mapawatt has written about Opower and their work with utilities and instituting social norms to help consumers reduce their energy consumption. Now, I'm happily able to show you an actual Home Energy Report I received for my personal home.
Home Energy Report:
After reading through my report, I realized they don't have any information on my home and the types of systems I have. You'll notice on page 1, they mention going online to tell them more about my home. I logged on to my Georgia Power account and filled out a very detailed Home Profile. We also covered this home energy report back in September. This reporting service is powered by Apogee, and we first used it on another Mapawatter's home before the service was tied in with Opower's home comparison. After finishing most of the questions, here's the first page of the report they displayed for me in my portal.
I'll admit, when I first heard of what Opower was doing I wasn't that impressed, after all, we basically had the same exact idea (home energy consumption comparison - don't worry, we've refocused) and we witnessed the demise of similar ideas to ours like Microsoft Hohm. I was also a bit jealous that Opower figured out the secret sauce to making money in the home energy comparison world: teaming up with the utilities!
As much as I wanted to dislike Opower sending me a paper report with a bar chart and a smiley face...I actually kind of liked it. I really liked the line graph of the energy consumption per month compared to other homes. I liked the fact there were simple tips on the back of the paper, but also a call to action to do more on the Georgia Power website.
Will Opower help homeowners achieve the big energy savings that Mapawatt is shooting for? Probably not, but that's not their goal. Their goal is to encourage many utility customers to save a little bit of energy vs. saving a whole lot of energy but for just a few energy nerds like us. The data was presented simply and effectively. Hopefully the information on my home's energy patterns will progress (seeing the same format over and over again will probably get repetitive) and will continue to encourage me and others like me to save energy.
Note: If your utility doesn't partner with Opower, but you want to compare your consumption vs. others, check out myenergy.com
Check out this excellent review of Opower from a user in Pacific Gas & Electric territory.
The OPower 10 Energy Numbers from 2012 is a pretty great article.