Utilities Use Opower Software to Save 3.5 Terawatt-Hours by 2014

Opower Inc., a provider of energy-monitoring software, says that customers of its more than 80 utility clients will reduce their electricity consumption by 3.5 terawatt-hours through 2014, enough to power the city of Indianapolis for a year.

The company’s technology has saved about 2 terawatt-hours of power in the past five years, enough to take a 500,000-person city off the grid for a year, Arlington, Virginia-based Opower said today in a statement. As more customers sign on, the software is expected to reduce power consumption by another 1.5 terawatt-hours in the next 12 to 18 months in six countries including the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

Utilities use Opower’s software to identify customers with unusually high energy-use patterns and notify them by e-mail and text message. Making people aware of their consumption may prompt changes in behavior, according to President Alex Laskey. With global energy usage surging, technology that curbs demand will be just as important as power generation, he said.

“You need to think about how people use what they use,” he said yesterday by phone from Davos, Switzerland, where he’s attending the World Economic Forum annual meeting. The 19th and 20th centuries revolutionized production techniques, and “what we’re seeing in the 21st century is that there will be big revolutions in the way we use things.”

Opower’s utility customers pay a licensing fee. Using the technology helps them qualify for state incentives.

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