Our Thinking

With $30 billion on the line, utilities need to revolutionize the customer experience. Starting today, they can.

  • By Neel Gulhar
  • February 18, 2015

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For years, I worked at a major utility, figuring out how to better engage our customers.

It certainly wasn’t an easy task — customer service can be a hard business for utilities. That’s especially true in the context of the numerous challenges facing today’s industry: distributed generation, flattening electricity demand, increased pressure from regulators, and heightened customer expectations among them.

As an industry, these trends are leading utilities to focus more and more on improving customer service. And rightfully so — it represents a $30 billion per year expense that still has some room for improvement. The question is: can utilities truly reinvent customer service, in a cost-effective way that strengthens the customer relationship and bolsters the bottom line?

At Opower, we think the answer is a resounding “yes.”

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Our Thinking

Our partners asked for more visibility and more control over their programs. Inside Opower delivers.

  • By Josh Lich
  • February 18, 2015

Since the beginning, our utility partners have been shaping the products we build. As the people who use our platform the most, utility executives and program managers give us essential feedback on what’s working and what’s not. But more than that, they also share their long-term business goals with us — and over time, they help drive our product roadmap.

Just ask Wayne Lin, one of our VPs for Product Management. He spends a lot of time listening to Opower’s clients. “In early 2014, I heard a lot of program managers talking about the pressure they feel when it comes to tracking and reporting on their programs. They were looking for more ways to keep tabs on their progress, and make adjustments along the way.”

That’s how Inside Opower was born.

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Our Thinking

5 ways to delight your utility’s IT team and crush your next technology project

  • By Casey Davis-Van Atta
  • February 12, 2015

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Utilities worldwide are making customer care a top priority. In a lot of ways, that’s a technology challenge. How can energy companies transform their customer data — everything from call center interactions to smart meter reads — into the helpful, personalized information that homes and businesses expect from their utilities?

Chief Information Officers can play a big role in answering that question. We sat down with Brian Rich, VP and CIO of Consumers Energy — Michigan’s largest utility — to learn how. He also shared the five things that every utility executive should do before they start their next IT project.

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