OPOWER’s Surprisingly Simple Engagement Formula

With 55 utility customers covering nearly 10 million homes, OPOWER is on a roll with its home energy management solutions. Smart Grid News recently spoke with Ogi Kavazovic, OPOWER’S vice president of marketing and strategy, to learn about the company’s secret sauce. Here’s what OPOWER does to insure an unusually high level of customer engagement:

Demystify: Most people can’t tell how they’re doing by looking at the information utilities provide. There are no comparisons, no benchmarks. OPOWER unlocks that inscrutable black box – the utility bill – and transforms it from numbers to insights.

Compare: OPOWER helps people see how they’re doing by drawing comparisons to similar sized homes. It offers tips on how they can improve, tailored to their personal demographics.

Simplify: Very few customers log in to slick utility websites for energy management information. The most effective way to reach customers is through good old-fashioned paper reports. (Remember paper?) OPOWER’s tactics are even outperforming consumer hardware products, such as in-home displays.

Edify: “Insights are more powerful than data,” says Kavazovic. And actionable insights, the kind that help people understand what’s really going on, don’t have to appear as a daily data stream on an in-home, real time display. To be truly useable and actionable, they can and should be delivered periodically.

In these days of smart meter backlash, it’s worth checking out OPOWER’s method of assuring high levels of customer engagement.

Photo credit: nclud