Consumer Technology

Published on February 4th, 2013 | by Adam Johnston


Opower Releases New Energy Mobile Phone App

February 4th, 2013 by  

Another day, another company adding to the list of smart technologies to enhance energy efficiency and smart grid potential for customers.

Image Source: Shutterstock

This time, its Arlington Virginia’s Opower, a leader in providing customer based solutions for utilities. In development for five years, the app will allow customers to use Opower 4, which uses five main components: big data analytics, home energy control, behaviour engagement, energy information services, and retail and marketing services.

“Opower 4 has gained a tremendous amount of traction in 2012 and now reaches more than 15 million customers through a variety of channels,” said Founder and CEO of Opower Dan Yates.

“Opower Mobile enhances the innovative solutions we bring to utilities and can help utilities both reduce their cost-to-serve and improve the customer’s experience, all while bringing the trusted Opower program to the palm of your hand.”

Opower’s new mobile app will allow customers to do a lot of neat things while on the move. One feature that should get people’s attention allows a person to see how much energy they are using in their home, while comparing their energy usage to similar homes.

Other features offered in the app include: on-line bill payment option and reminders of when its due; integration of the thermostat; customizing features for a customer’s specific need; and reporting service interruption on their mobile phone.

Opower recently announced they had saved US residents 2 Terawatt hours, enough to take Sacramento off the grid. Opower have also recently teamed with Honeywell to pair Opower’s energy management systems with Honeywell’s thermostat technology.

“While many utilities have offered mobile applications in the past, they have often been developed for a singular function, such as bill pay,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing & Operations at Opower Rod Morris.

“This new offering is innovative in that it brings the full customer engagement program that utility customers expect to a smartphone,” he said.

Given there are 6 billion cell phone subscriptions now in the world, its not surprising the rise of mobile apps. This is especially helping to boost the creative ways of advancing smart grid and energy-efficient technologies across the planet. In recent months other apps have been devoted to solar energy, and  EV’s.

Mobile Apps Putting Cleantech into Consumers Hands

Given that costs of technology have gone down in recent years, expect the continuing trend of convergence of information technology and energy in the climate-energy era.

Main Source: Opower

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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About the Author

is expected to complete the Professional Development Certificate in Renewable Energy from the University of Toronto by December 2017. Adam recently completed his Social Media Certificate from Algonquin College Continuing & Online Learning. Adam also graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a three-year B.A. combined major in Economics and Rhetoric, Writing & Communications in 2011. Adam owns a part-time tax preparation business. He also recently started up Salay Consulting and Social Media services, a part-time business which provides cleantech writing, analysis, and social media services. His eventual goal is to be a cleantech policy analyst. You can follow him on Twitter @adamjohnstonwpg or check out his business

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  • Otis11

    6 Billion cell phone subscribers? I think they better check their math on that one – there’s only 7 billion people in the world and I know even here in the US a substantial part of my family doesn’t have them (Grandparents have 1 between them, kids don’t have them, etc) so I can only guess that a nice chunk of less developed nations don’t have them either…

    • Bob_Wallace

      Six billion seems high to me as well. Following the link back on step I find…

      ” The world now has nearly as many cell phone subscriptions as inhabitants.

      The U.N. telecom agency says there were about 6 billion subscriptions by the end of 2011 – roughly one for 86 of every 100 people.”

      Could be a mistake. Might have actually been “6 billion have access to a cell phone”. I don’t trust the Huffington Post much and they don’t link their source.

      That said, you might be surprised as to the extent cell phones have made themselves present in less developed nations. In India it’s common to see pedal rickshaw drivers talking on a cell. And these guys are so poor that they don’t even own their rickshaw and sleep in them at night.

      The HP piece does go on to say “In a report Thursday, the International Telecommunication Union said China alone accounted for 1 billion subscriptions, and India is expected to hit the 1-billion mark this year.”

      People who live far from a source of electricity have cell phones. Some walk very long distances to charge their phones. Bus drivers made some extra income by transporting cell phones to town for charging. People make money by hauling car batteries around the countryside, charging cell phones.

      And then there are the micro-solar programs which are setting up over 1,000 small solar systems per day and giving people electric light and phone charging ability.

      • Bob_Wallace

        Here’s the press release from the ITU. It says –

        “With over 6 billion mobile subscriptions in use worldwide, up from fewer than 1 billion in 2000, three out of every four human beings worldwide now have access to a mobile phone, says a flagship report on global mobile trends released today by infoDev and the World Bank.”

        It doesn’t say that 6 billion people have cell phone subscriptions. Only that there are 6 billion. I assume that meant that many people might have more than one?

        ” three out of every four human beings worldwide now have access to a mobile phone”

        Access to…

      • Better wording in our post would have been 6 billion subscriptions — many subscribers can have multiple subscriptions.

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