Our Thinking

Opower joins Maryland Governor O’Malley and Baltimore Gas & Electric to celebrate state’s energy innovation

  • By Jake Levine
  • September 15, 2014

Today, Opower joined an action-packed event with Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE) and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, as part of the Governor’s “Governing for Results” tour in Maryland.

It was an honor for Opower to participate, not only because we had the opportunity to celebrate the $2 billion in savings catalyzed by BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program, but also because we were able to help share an important story with the people of Maryland: that they’ve played a central role in moving the state toward a more sustainable and secure energy future.

Maryland Event

Opower President Alex Laskey speaks alongside Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and BGE CEO Calvin Butler at an event in Baltimore

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Our Thinking

U.S. homes consume more than 20% of the nation’s energy — but how efficiently are they using it?

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • September 15, 2014

U.S. homes consume more than 20 percent of the country’s energy and account for more than 50 percent of energy used in the buildings sector.

With such a large portion of the nation’s energy resources — especially electricity and natural gas — devoted to the residential sector, one has to ask: how efficiently are those energy resources being put to use?

This question was recently tackled in two separate reports by the U.S. Department of Energy and Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), which were presented at ACEEE’s biannual conference last month in Pacific Grove, California.

The two reports specifically examined a metric known as the “Home Energy Score,” which was developed to provide both homeowners and prospective homebuyers with a credible, standardized, and affordable way to understand a home’s energy performance.

Across the country, Home Energy Scores — which have been likened to miles-per-gallon ratings for vehicles — have emerged as an important reference point in the housing market, especially during the time of sale. At that moment, both sellers and buyers are inclined to make financial and property-related investments — and among those, energy efficiency upgrades have become increasingly salient.

In fact, Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies has found that sellers and buyers spend 2.5 times more money on renovations within two years of sale than at any other time in a home’s life cycle. Since efficiency upgrades often play an important role in those renovations, home energy scores can have a huge bearing on the overall efficiency of a home — and a nation.

The U.S. DOE’s Home Energy Score rates homes’ efficiency performance and potential on a scale from 1-to-10  (Source: U.S. Department of Energy).

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Our Thinking

STAT OF THE WEEK: Tracking down every last MW added to the grid this year

  • By Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • September 12, 2014

Today, we’re piloting a new, recurring feature on the Opower blog. On many Fridays, we’ll highlight a fresh bit of data from somewhere in the energy world — something that’s novel, thought-provoking, unusual, fun, or otherwise worth a click and 3 minutes of your time. We’re calling it our Stat of the Week. And we’re soliciting suggestions. If you have a stat that we should cover, tweet it @Opower. If it’s featured, we’ll give you a shoutout.

Stat of the Week 14.09.12_overlap_bolt

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