Customer Relationship Management News NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home CRM Systems Customer Service Contact Centers Business Intelligence More Topics...
Advertisement
Free Gartner Report:
Drive innovation & collaboration
with the "Everyone's IT" approach.

View the research report
World Wide Web
Gartner's #1 for endpoint backup
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
New 'Social Energy App' Compares Energy Use with Others

New 'Social Energy App' Compares Energy Use with Others
By Barry Levine

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Opower said 16 utilities nationwide are participating in its network, representing 20 million households, or about one in every six consumer customers of electricity in the U.S. The release of Opower's "social energy app" follows a White House challenge for utilities to enable customers to download and compare data on energy use.
 

With all the social media out there, can't someone figure out a way to use social networking to help save energy? One environmental group believes it has found a way.

On Tuesday, Opower announced a new "social energy app" that can be used with Facebook friends to compare energy usage. The organization said in a statement that the app, the result of a six-month development effort, is intended to help users find energy savings opportunities, in a spirit of friendly competition and shared information between friends, schools, non-profit organizations, or companies.

16 Participating Utilities

The app, available by searching Opower on Facebook or visiting a participating utility's Web site, allows users to sign on with their Facebook login, and then connect their utility account, if their utility is a participating organization. With this data, the app allows users to compare specifics, set up contests, and use other features intended to raise informational awareness about energy use.

The app is a collaboration between Opower, Facebook,and the National Resources Defense Council. Opower said it is developing new features for the app, such as connecting with smart meter and gas meter data. Previously, Opower had been delivering energy-saving information to customers of participating utilities by mail.

Opower said that 16 utilities nationwide are participating in its network, representing 20 million households, or about one in every six consumer customers of electricity in the U.S. The release of the app follows, by a few months, the Green Button initiative from the White House, a challenge for utilities to enable customers to download and compare data about their energy use.

Utilities currently working with Opower include ComEd in Chicago, Burbank Water & Power, Consumers Energy in Michigan, City of Palo Alto Utilities, Rochester Public Utilities, and Pacific Gas & Electric in California. Users whose utilities are not participants will need to enter their own usage data.

Aggregated, anonymous data can also be accessed by the app from the nearly six-dozen utilities involved with Opower, representing collective information for about 60 million customers.

Communication, Transparency

The usefulness of the information available through the social energy app is enhanced in homes with smart meters, which take into account such conditions as weather and humidity to make more consistent comparisons between different energy usage periods.

Alex Lasky, founder of Opower, told The New York Times that "the utility industry is not known for its cutting-edge customer service, mostly because they're regulated monopolies." Now, he said, that's changing "in a profound way," with a wider use of social networking, alerts, sophisticated usage reports, and other tools.

We asked Current Analysis' Brad Shimmin whether this new kind of social app could be useful to consumers or businesses. He said that it could well "turn out to be very useful, since people don't often talk to others" about the specifics of their energy usage, adding that transparency can help drive a market to efficiency.

Shimmin said that he could see other kinds of social apps being developed that would allow one person or company to compare costs and usage to another, such as a social app that would compare broadband performance. The key to saving money, he noted, is not only being able to make usage more efficient, but also "being able to shop around" -- an ability that is not always available to electric utility customers.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 World Wide Web
1.   Twitter May Remove Pics of Deceased
2.   Google IPO Began Decade of Big Bets
3.   Assange Talks of Leaving Embassy
4.   Russian Hacker To Be Held Until Trial
5.   Online Sites vs. Retailing in India


advertisement
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Twitter May Remove Pics of Deceased
Balancing privacy and public interest.
Average Rating:
Online Retailers Ponder Actual Stores
'Click-and-mortar' shops popping up.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Find Malicious Android Apps Can Hack Gmail
A new study shows that a weakness in the Android mobile operating system can be used to steal sensitive, personal info from unwitting users. Gmail proved to be the easiest app to attack; Amazon, the hardest.
 
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Feds OK $2.3 Billion IBM-Lenovo x86 Server Deal
IBM and Lenovo are celebrating U.S. approval of their x86-based server deal, having cleared some major security hurdles. The deal makes Lenovo a major player for enterprise data centers.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
With businesses wanting computing solutions that do more for less money, Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that it says offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Screen Shortage Briefly Puts Brakes on iPhone 6
RAM? Check. Antenna switch? Check. Screen? Oops. Parts suppliers for Apple have found themselves facing a shortage of screens for the new iPhone 6 as next month's release date for the new smartphone looms.
 
Bounty Offered to Coders for Oculus Rift Bugs
Coders who find bugs in software for the Oculus Rift VR immersive headset could receive a reward of at least $500 under Facebook's White Hat bounty program. Facebook acquired Oculus in March.
 
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 

Navigation
CRM Daily
Home/Top News | CRM Systems | Customer Service | Contact Centers | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Customer Data | CRM Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.