REDWOOD SHORES, Calif., June 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Oracle Utilities Opower has completely reimagined the Home Energy Report (HER). Starting this summer, the new reports can help millions of households save money and reduce their carbon footprint through dynamic new experiences. With bold designs, new energy insights and applied behavioral science, the new Opower HERs make it easy for utilities to reach all types of customers and achieve outcomes ranging from driving energy efficiency savings to increasing customer satisfaction and digital channel engagement. They can also be used to accelerate the adoption of energy-saving programs such as efficient home upgrades and smart devices, and coach customers to maximize the impact of emerging technology, such as residential solar and electric vehicle charging.
"FirstEnergy serves multiple states, all with different customer needs, efficiency goals and regulatory structures, so it's important that we design and scale programs to achieve those many goals," said Nicole Williams, manager, energy efficiency, residential programs, FirstEnergy. "The new Opower Home Energy Reports – with their highly individualized insights, flexible design and continuous learning model – will help engage customers and deliver all the results we need throughout our service territories."
The new Opower Home Energy Reports are powered by the most complete platform in the industry, empowering utilities to create holistic customer journeys that achieve a wide range of demand side management (DSM) and engagement outcomes. For more information listen to the results National Grid has already achieved with the reimagined HER here.
New engagement innovations can help everyone save
Opower has sent nearly a billion reports on behalf of its utility clients since it pioneered the HER in 2007. This milestone represents more than 3,300 collective program years of experience geared to optimize paper, digital and combination programs. Collectively, these reports have resulted in utility customers saving more than 25 terawatt-hours of energy, enough to power all the households in Dallas, Texas for 3.5 years or stream 125 billion videos. But as customers and challenges evolve, so must the techniques to reach and solve them.
Backed by new advancements in behavioral science, artificial intelligence (AI) and appliance-level disaggregation, the new Opower HER delivers better outcomes by providing truly personalized insights for every type of customer through:
Ever-evolving experiences: One-size (or color) certainly does not fit all. Dynamic and changing HER layouts are designed to catch and maintain customer attention, including those who have been receiving the same HERs for years. This includes being able to size and strategically place certain insights and icons for maximum exposure and action. With better use of color and visual appeal, the reports provide a poster-like format that the entire household can understand and use to make smarter energy choices.
Unique energy journeys: The reimagined HERs enable utilities to tailor outreach to connect with a diverse audience and autonomously optimize the experience for each customer by the channel and content they receive. For instance, when Opower detects an EV charging in the home, the customer is sent recommendations on the best times to charge. Variable rate customers see peak pricing insights. Limited income customers receive low and no-cost recommendations. The adaptability of the platform allows utilities to use paper reports to engage hard-to-reach customers and lead them to sustained engagement through digital channels over time. By delivering the right energy insight and recommendation through the right channel every time, the new Opower HERs help utilities deliver more customer value, influence buying behaviors, and increase intended results.
Agility to experiment: The flexible nature of the new Opower HER makes it a large-scale laboratory for testing and carefully measuring new behavioral techniques and consumer engagement tactics. New Opower platform capabilities enable faster, easier, more cost-effective pilots that extend beyond print and email HERs. For example, The Opower X team recently created a first-of-its-kind video energy report pilot with National Grid. Customers received personalized, animated insights on their usage and advice on how to save and cut costs. The project yielded 12 times the average click-through rates than standard digital reports.
New behavioral science techniques: While the HER neighbor comparison has been central to getting people to act, sustaining engagement over time demands varying approaches. The new generation of HER continues to innovate with new behavioral techniques to get customers to take that next step or leap, including offering:
"Efficiency Zones" – a new take on normative comparisons that compares a customer's energy use to a target zone, rather than to similar efficient homes.
"Energy Use Benchmarks" – indicates a customer's relative level of efficiency in a simple way at the top of the report.
"Moments of Pride" – congratulates customers for taking an action, motivating them to be even more energy efficient.
"For more than ten years, Opower has been instrumental in engaging our customers through a range of behavioral techniques and communications channels," said Amanda Janaskie, manager energy efficient programs, Baltimore Gas & Electric. "We've been an early adopter of many Opower innovations, so it was natural to be one of the first to deploy these new reports. They will be instrumental in delivering on our commitment to provide customers with personalized experiences that help save energy and money."
"Our ability to make every report a new experience for all types of customers not only delivers industry-leading results, but it also creates a testbed for trying new behavioral techniques and engagement strategies," said Scott Neuman, GVP of Oracle Utilities Opower. "Our reimagined HER is a major leap forward that allows utilities to execute successful programs and help build our clean energy future right now."
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