ORLANDO – OUC – The Reliable One is taking another step in making sure homes within its service territory are as energy efficient as possible while also saving customers money on their utility bills.
Today, OUC announced the launch of a Home Energy Reporting pilot program that is expected to reduce consumption by more than 6,000,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) or enough energy to power nearly 500 homes for a year.
Beginning in August, 50,000 randomly selected OUC customers will begin receiving customized, detailed information about their home’s energy usage. The reports, which will be delivered by mail and through a user-friendly online portal, provide personalized energy usage information and an anonymous comparison to similar sized homes. The reports are tailored to the age and type of housing and provide no-cost and low-cost suggestions, available rebates and even long-term investment options for reducing their energy use.
“The program is effective because it makes customers aware of other efficiency programs, incentives and rebates OUC has. It will likely become our largest efficiency initiative ever,” said Byron Knibbs, OUC Vice President of Sustainable Services, citing average participation rates of only 5 percent in most efficiency programs – and the expectation that 50 percent of the 50,000 will take some sort of energy-saving action.
OUC is working with vendor Opower to administer the Home Energy Reports. Opower is a software company that works with utilities to meet their efficiency goals through effective customer engagement. Using behavioral science and cutting-edge data analytics, the Opower platform enables utilities to connect with their customers in a highly targeted fashion, motivating reductions in energy use and increasing program participation.
According to Opower, the report developer, the program which is currently being used by 15 municipally owned utilities and 40 investor owned utilities, has consistently delivered between 1.5 and 3.5 percent in average energy savings to utility customers amounting to about 410 gigawatt hours.
Customers have the option to opt-out if they are not interested. However, Opower reports less than 2 percent do so. OUC will test the program out during the first year, and if successful plans to expand it to include as many as 86,000 customers.
About OUC—The Reliable One
Established in 1923 by a special act of the Florida Legislature, OUC—The Reliable One is the second largest municipal utility in Florida. OUC provides electric and water services to more than 221,000 customers in Orlando, St. Cloud and parts of unincorporated Orange and Osceola counties.
Opower is a leader in energy information software, providing the industry’s only multi-channel customer engagement platform proven to deliver energy efficiency gains and other strategic benefits to its utility partners on a sustainable basis. For more information, please visit www.opower.com.