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Demand response based on customer behaviour from Opower

Thu, 09/12/2013 - 17:47 -- Ruth Williams
Opower found people used less electricity when informed of ways to cut down

 

A Californian based company that specialises in engaging customers with the utility industry, Opower, has launched what it is calling a Behavioral Demand Response (BDR) system that tells customers how to reduce energy without needing a smart meter in their home.

The Opower BDR allows utility companies to deploy a cost-effective demand response service to all their customers, regardless of having a meter. Opower BDR can inform customers of their household electricity usage and offer tips and advice to reduce peak usage, specific to their own home. It will alert users via web, text, phone or print of specific measures they can take to reduce energy at peak times.

The system comes after five years of research that showed householders reduced energy use when informed of their energy use compared with other households in the area.

The Opower BDR can be deployed as a standalone solution for cost-effective demand response without devices, or used in conjunction with existing direct load control programmes.

Customer participation in household demand response initiatives has been low, often due to lack of understanding on the customer’s side and the cost of installing metering devices in homes.