Posts by Hillery Brown

Our Thinking

Opower goes (North)west to talk energy efficiency

Opower paid a visit to our neighbors up north last week for the Western Energy Institute’s Spring Energy Symposium.  More than 240 energy professionals from the western US and Canada met in Vancouver, BC to discuss the future of the utility industry. Some key themes throughout the conference: energy savings program deployment, utility customer engagement, and what’s next for energy efficiency.

With over 20 clients in the western US, Opower had the opportunity to connect with many of our friends and utility partners at the conference. We were excited to see some of our clients stepping up to the podium to promote energy efficiency in the region.

Featured on the Energy Efficiency Best Practices panel was Jeff Tripp, the Residential Energy Management Manager at Puget Sound Energy, one of Opower’s first west coast clients. He recounted his initial decision to partner with Opower in 2007, when behavioral programs in the Pacific Northwest were still few and far between. Since then, many other utilities have followed suit.

It turns out that Tripp’s “calculated bet” paid off: Puget Sound’s partnership with Opower continues to be cost effective as it approaches its fourth year. Tripp ended his presentation by noting that every report the utility sends to home energy consumers helps save energy and that the Opower program has allowed Puget Sound Energy to claim the savings they were looking for.

Also joining this dialogue were other Opower clients from the region including PG&E, Sacramento Gas & Electric, Clark Public Utilities and Seattle City Light.

We look forward to continuing to build relationships with new and existing partners in the western states, many of which are already leading the way in energy efficiency.

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Our Thinking

Employee Spotlight on Camera: Brett Witt

Over the past several months, you’ve gotten to know the latest additions to the Opower team through our New Employee Spotlights. Our company is growing faster than ever and we’ll continue featuring our newly minted team members as we grow from 300 employees today to over 450 by the end of the year.

As much as we love our new folks, we also want to show off the Oployees who have been there along the way — fueling our success and achievements to date, including saving 2 terawatt hours of energy, expanding internationally, and partnering with more than 80 fantastic utilities.

So we’ve put together a series of short videos that put the spotlight on a range of Opower employees, from Engineering to Client Services to Regulatory Affairs. To kick off the series, say hello to Brett Witt, Core Platform Lead on our Engineering team, based out of our San Francisco office.

Lights, camera, action!

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Our Thinking

New Employee Spotlight: Sarah Goelitz, Come on Down!

Sarah Goelitz is a Consumer Marketing Specialist at Opower

I come to Opower from the nonprofit world. Before starting here, I helped manage communications and marketing for a legal aid organization in McLean, Virginia, helping them clarify their message and find ways to reach donors and clients. Before that, I handled web communications, email marketing, content strategy, and donor communications for another nonprofit for about 6 years. I’d wanted to move into utility communications for a while, so I’m excited to be at Opower.

What made you want to join Opower?

This is going to sound like hype, but it’s true: when I first learned about Opower, I thought, “If this company didn’t already exist, I’d want to help start it.” Making utility communications more friendly and useful, while helping people save energy, was a goal I wanted to get involved with. When I started interviewing, everyone I met at Opower was intelligent, thoughtful, good at their job, and committed to making the world better. (Most of them were funny too.) It was a place I wanted to be.

What has been your favorite thing about Opower so far?

When I interviewed with Opower, I asked a number of employees what they liked best about the company. Almost invariably they said it was their coworkers–the smart, dedicated, interesting people who make Opower what it is. Now that I’m here, I’d say the same.

What are some of your hobbies?

One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday is directing an event, preferably a wedding. Of all possible usability challenges, weddings are the best: you get to help a bunch of nervous people in semiformal attire relax, have fun, and be in the right place at the right time.

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