In his State of the Union address last night, President Obama put forth an ambitious energy efficiency goal for America: to cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next twenty years. And he envisioned working with states to get this done, offering federal support to states that pursue the best ideas to lower energy bills and create jobs in the process.
The President’s strong endorsement of energy efficiency comes on the heels of a similar set of recommendations issued by the Alliance Commission on National Energy Efficiency Policy, a diverse coalition of energy leaders, including Opower’s President Alex Laskey. The Commission recommends doubling U.S. energy productivity over the next two decades, which would add 1.3 million jobs to the economy and save American families and businesses $327 billion in 2030.
Opower is already working across the states (nearly 30 of them and counting) to unleash energy savings, partnering with more than 80 utility companies to help customers reduce their energy bills. The behavioral energy-efficiency programs that we’ve deployed have, as of last month, cumulatively achieved 2 terawatt-hours (equal to 2 billion kilowatt-hours) of savings — enough to take all the homes in a city of 500,000 people off the electric grid for a full year.
Beyond our impact in individual states, we’re also proud to be involved in ongoing federal efforts to make energy information useful and actionable for families and businesses.
The Opower team (currently more than 300 employees, growing to more than 450 by the end of the year) is excited about the President’s call to increase energy productivity nationwide, and we’re looking forward to playing an important role in making it happen. We believe that rising to the President’s challenge is not just possible — it’s also crucial for our country, our economy and the planet.
To hear the President’s vision for a more energy-efficient America, check out the below video segment from last night’s speech: