Our Thinking

2 ways Hawaii is innovating away from oil imports — and 1 more that could save Hawaiians $12M a year

  • By Aaron Tinjum
  • August 25, 2014

In many ways, islands in the United States are at a natural disadvantage when it comes to their energy portfolio. 

It’s easy to understand why. Places like American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands often lack an adequate local supply of electricity generation fuels, so instead have to rely heavily on expensive oil imports.

American islands depend on pricey petroleum imports to meet energy demand. (Source: EIA)

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Our Thinking

Double Bottom Line: why this regulatory expert left academia to help Japan modernize its electric grid

  • By Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • August 22, 2014

About the Double Bottom Line series: At Opower, pursuing a double bottom line — measuring ourselves by our environmental performance in addition to our financial performance — is a major part of our company DNA. In this series, we’ll be highlighting Oployees across the company who share what working at a double-bottom-line company means for their everyday work — and what it means to them personally.

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ken haigKen Haig is a Director of Regulatory Affairs in Opower’s Tokyo office. When he joined Opower last month, he walked in the door with more than a decade of experience researching Japan’s political system. Now he’s helping shape that system as Japan reimagines its electrical grid and continues to implement historic reforms.

What do you do at Opower?

I am part of a small but strong (and growing) Regulatory Affairs team in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. My focus is on working with internal and external stakeholders to help set the stage for important progress in the Japanese utility industry across several areas, including customer engagement, smart grid analytics, and energy management. 

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Our Thinking

12 things utilities need to know about one of the year’s biggest energy polls

  • By Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • August 21, 2014

From weighing an ox to predicting the future, it’s often said that there’s wisdom in crowds.

A new report from the global consulting firm Black & Veatch aims to tap into that wisdom by polling 576 top minds in the energy industry. What forces are pushing utilities to change? How are power providers responding to flattening load growth? With coal and nuclear plants slated for retirement, what will take their place?

Black & Veatch asked, and utility decisionmakers answered. Here are 12 key things we learned from the report.

1. Reliability is still king. With distributed generation, smart meters, and regulatory reform sweeping across the country, it’s easy to feel like there are no more knowns in the energy world. But for American utilities, one thing’s the same as it ever was: the paramount importance of delivering power on time, all the time. Black & Veatch found that reliability is still the number one concern in the industry.

top 10 issues

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