Green tech and the practical can coexist. That’s the concept behind Opower, and so far it’s serving the company well. Opower has recently announced its expansion across the West Coast, reaching a benchmark for the start up as it seeks widespread adoption. With $14M in its latest round of funding and the recently appointed founder of iLike Hadi Parvoti to its advisory board, Opower is looking at a very green future.
Such expansion is a novelty for many companies based in the Washington, DC area, at least those that don’t have the funding of federal contracts. The products Opower makes is what’s driven the growth of its service, taking the full-service approach to its offerings. Addressing the need for businesses and individuals to have an assessment and action tool to monitor and modify their power usage, Opower has been able to spread like wildfire across the country.
As described by the Washington Post,
“Opower essentially takes raw data, obtained from a utility company that contracts its services, and creates detailed reports on how customers’ consumption compares with their neighbors. The report also provides customized tips for each customer to address wasteful behavior. What’s more, the Opower team, made up of 105 employees, redesigns utility Web sites, offering e-mails and text alerts to update customers on usage.”
For Opower, the focus on this core concept has made the company immune to competition and the need of an acquisition as an exit strategy. With Google and Microsoft making similar tools, Opower looks to stay one step ahead by using simplistic interfacing and access to the researched data. Tapping into consumers’ power bills instead of requiring them to purchase additional equipment means less barriers for Opower to overcome.
The same rule of simplicity applies to its products lineup, which take you from beginning to end. Not only gather the data through Opower, but play with it, receive recommendations, and take actions to improve your power usage, all with a single tool. While the future may hold additional opportunities for further integration, it’s clear that Opower is holding strong to this principle in order to dominate its niche.
Kristen Nicole has also contributed to other publications, from TIME Techland to Forbes. Her work has been syndicated across a number of media outlets, including The New York Times, and MSNBC.
Kristen Nicole published her first book, The Twitter Survival Guide, and is currently completing her second book on predictive analytics.