- Consolidated Edison has selected demand management leader Opower to help it manage customer-facing operations in Brooklyn and Westchester County, assist with its smart meter rollout and help deploy the "Connected Homes" project the utility proposed as part of New York's bid to revamp the utility industry, the New York Times reports.
- Under the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision, ConEdison proposed the Connected Homes project to increase the adoption of distributed energy resources.
- The utility's Digital Customer Experience (DCX) initiative will attempt to transform the utility customer experience into one that more closely resembles the simple processes of online shopping, while also offering an online portal that can assist customers in managing their energy use.
Opower and ConEdison have inked contracts to overhaul the utility's customer engagement strategy, growing an agreement announced last summer when the utility unveiled its Connected Homes project.
“Our work with Opower will help us provide customers with valuable information about their energy usage, more access to new products and services, and faster restoration when outages occur,” Con Edison President Craig Ivey said in a statement. “The digital upgrades will make it easier for customers to interact with us online, while smart meters will give them rich data about how they’re using energy and ideas for using less."
The utility is planning an advanced metering rollout in 2017, which Ivey said will also give customers "the convenience of not having to schedule appointments for us to take readings.” Opower will deploy customer-facing analytics in tandem with a planned smart meter rollout starting in 2017, the company said.
“Con Edison is positioning itself as one of the most innovative utilities in the country,” said Opower CEO Dan Yates. “This incredible new partnership demonstrates Con Edison’s commitment to serving its customers as a trusted energy advisor and cutting-edge utility."
Opower reports will also encourage customers to visit a new digital consumer marketplace enabling them to research large appliances and purchase small efficiency products and services directly through the site. And, Opower is partnering with FirstFuel to extend similar engagement tools for commercial and industrial customers "so that businesses can directly access detailed information about their energy use and get recommendations to reduce usage," the company said.
The announcement follows Opower's announcement that it is extending its suite of demandside management tools, though the company cut its projected 2016 revenue target. Opower is now working with more than 100 utilities on 4 continents, using its analytics and data crunching capabilities to provide behavioral demand response, bill advisor and marketplace products.