Opower reached a major company milestone this week – our behavioral energy-efficiency programs have now cumulatively achieved two terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy savings worldwide.
While it took four years to achieve our first TWh of savings, this announcement comes only nine months since then. It’s a testament to our exponentially growing scale (both in terms of our market reach and our proven approach to reducing energy consumption) and our incredible utility partners.
2 TWh (equal to 2 billion kilowatt-hours) sounds like a lot, but what does it really mean? Here are some equivalencies that put the number in more accessible terms. Each example is equal to 2 TWh:
- Taking all the homes in a city the size of 500,000 people off the grid for a full year (think cities the size of Sacramento, Atlanta or Kansas City)
- Removing 300,000 passenger vehicles from the road for a full year
- Preserving 10,500 acres of forest from deforestation (in terms avoided greenhouse gas emissions)
- Keep the lights on at the stadium, fan experiences, and player hotels for the next CDXLIV Super Bowls (that’s 444 Super Bowls)
- Unplugging Facebook from the grid for the next 4 years
It also means $220 million in energy bill savings for families and businesses across the country.
A common question with energy savings measurement and verification is how to calculate something that is not being used (scientist and environmentalist Amory Lovins even coined a term - “negawatt,” the opposite of megawatt – to represent a unit of conserved energy). To quantify the energy savings achieved by Opower programs, we follow a rigorous scientific test-and-control methodology that’s been verified by fifteen trusted third parties including KEMA, Navigant & Yale University.
We’re celebrating this milestone not just as a company accomplishment, but also for the growing opportunity it represents for energy efficiency programs to have a massive impact on energy consumption across the globe. You can read the official press release about Opower’s 2 TWh achievement here.