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.
Without huge customer engagement and broad-based participation in BGE’s programs, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to celebrate the state’s impressive energy savings achievements -- which, among other things, include a 5% reduction in peak electric demand (via Opower’s Behavioral Demand Response solution) that last summer generated $7 million of savings for BGE customers.Governor O’Malley highlighted his administration’s progress on initiatives in 16 sectors including energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction. He cited the impact of BGE’s Smart Energy Savers Program and Opower’s customer-focused software solutions as examples of innovative strategies that are helping Maryland continue to meet its aggressive energy and emissions reduction goals. Thanks to EmPOWER Maryland -- the landmark energy bill that Governor O’Malley signed into law in 2008 -- Marylanders are using less energy than they used to. In fact, the state is on track to reduce peak energy demand by 15 percent in 2015, and programs like BGE’s Smart Energy Rewards program are playing an instrumental role. Maryland's policy has become a model for other states, and internationally, precisely because it gives companies like BGE space to innovate and drive results that put their consumers first. Together with Opower, BGE’s Smart Energy Rewards program reduced peak demand by 5 percent during the summer of 2013 by providing customers with timely information and personalized feedback to help them reduce their energy consumption on peak days. BGE has since gone from 30 percent participation in demand response programs to over 90 percent, specifically by making deep investments in engaging their customers and improving the utility-customer relationship. BGE continues to take steps to engage their customers in unique ways. By investing in behavioral energy efficiency and behavioral demand response programs, BGE’s Smart Energy Savers program is setting the bar for the next generation of customer engagement. Among the key takeaways from the event’s speakers was that energy innovation in the coming years won’t just be about investing in new technology and infrastructure, but also about how our utilities are investing in people — and giving them the information and motivation they need to better manage their energy use.