LEAMINGTON SPA, England, July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
- First Utility enhances smart meter offering with Opower's home energy management platform
- Opower and First Utility to conduct first of a kind consumer energy saving programme in 2012 to inform Cabinet Office and DECC policy-making
- Programme offers potential annual savings of £400 million on energy bills if deployed across all UK households
First Utility, the UK's largest independent domestic energy company and Opower, the leading US efficiency and smart grid software company, announced on Wednesday July 6th a new partnership to provide Opower's home energy management programme to First Utility customers. The programme, which is highlighted in the 'nudge report' on energy efficiency from the Cabinet Office's Behavioural Insights team and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), will be the first of its kind in the UK and is poised to help First Utility customers find ways to save on their bills. Deployed to all UK households, the programme has the potential to save consumers as much as £400 million on energy bills each year.
First Utility, the only UK energy company to offer smart meters to all of its customers, will use Opower's software platform to translate its customer's smart meter data into a range of new energy-saving tools, including reports that offer comparative consumption information and household-specific analysis of consumption patterns, access to an online portal with detailed usage information, and high bill alerts designed to help customers avoid excessive bills while they still have time to change their usage. Customers will be engaged via mailed reports, web portal, email and SMS messages, as well as social media. This multi-channel engagement approach is designed to reach all demographic segments, including the most vulnerable, and drive a high level of customer engagement and energy savings.
As the first large-scale, information-based energy efficiency programme in the UK, Opower and First Utility intend to work in consultation with the Behavioural Insights Team in the Cabinet Office and DECC to assess the impact of this program to inform future smart meter policy. Energy savings from the programme will be measured and verified independently by leading academics in the UK using data from smart meters.
"We know that household budgets are under increasing pressure, and that energy bills are part of that," said Mark Daeche, Founder of First Utility. "At First Utility, we are able to provide cutting-edge home energy management tools enabled by our recently deployed Smart Meters. We have partnered with Opower, a leading energy management software provider in the United States, to help us deliver the best utility customer experience in the UK, and help our customers save on their bills."
"We are thrilled to be working with a customer-focused utility like First Utility," said Opower President and Co-founder Alex Laskey. "Our experience in the US has taught us that utilities that put the customers first and proactively help them manage their energy use have more engaged and satisfied customers, which is ultimately good for business. We expect that our partnership with First Utility will yield significant savings on bills for households, and plan to share these results with DECC and the Cabinet Office as they consider policies to realise the most customer benefits from smart meters."
A smart meter is a technologically advanced energy meter, designed to replace the old-fashioned gas and electricity meter that is intended to provide an energy company with an accurate energy usage reading. A smart meter records a household's electricity consumption half-hourly, and gas daily, and communicates that information back to the utility, allowing a richer set of energy management tools, like usage alerts, to be offered to customers.
About First Utility:
First Utility is the smarter independent utilities supplier, offering electricity and gas services to a range of consumer and business customers. It is the only energy provider to roll out smart meters to all its customers, throughout the UK. It is through the use of smart metering technology that First Utility can empower consumers to manage and reduce their own energy consumption and bills. First Utility is headquartered in Warwick. http://www.first-utility.com
Founded in 2007, Opower is America's leading energy efficiency software provider and one of the Wall Street Journal's Top 10 Cleantech Companies of 2011. The company partners with utilities to motivate and engage customers, promoting better understanding of energy usage and leading to lower bills. Opower's home energy management platform offers consumers a detailed picture of their personal energy use, and provides tailored feedback through multiple communications channels. Currently working with more than 55 utilities across 24 states in the U.S., Opower currently reaches 10 million households. To date, the company has saved more than 390 Gwh of electricity or the equivalent of powering almost 50,000 households for a year.
Further information and interviews
Please contact CubanEight (First Utility):
• Sian Gaskell, +44(0)1869 238089, +44(0)7879 997 885, [email protected]
• Siobhan Eyres, +44(0)1869 238089, +44(0)7912 283 862, [email protected]
• Rachel Brewin, +44(0)1869 238089, +44(0)7879 997 886, [email protected]
Or Daniel J Edelman (Opower)
• Ben Burton, +44(0)7801-077638, [email protected]
• Jessica Lennard, +44(0)7786-025652, [email protected]
• Nicola Flynn, +44(0)20-3047-2365, [email protected]
• Emily Dimmock, +44(0)20-3047-2076, [email protected]
SOURCE First Utility