Utilities Rely on Oracle to Reduce Peak Energy Demand During Extreme Weather

Millions of customers in Opower Peak Management programs last summer to maintain grid reliability and reduce their energy bills

Personalized, post-weather event communications saw and 53% open rate on average

AUSTIN, Texas, June 22, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Summer is here, bringing the promise of more extreme weather events and strain on the energy grid. However, record results from Oracle Utilities Opower Peak Management programs from the summer of 2021 show that consumers can be a powerful ally in maintaining grid reliability. Opower engaged more than 3.3 million people in dozens of events across North America in 2021. Using behavioral science alone, Opower delivered 25 megawatts of demand reduction across clients – the equivalent of bringing 10 wind turbines online. In addition, Opower delivered hundreds more megawatts of demand reduction with peak time rebate programs. These efforts are not only helping to reduce the energy bills and the threat of rolling blackouts.

“With some of the most ambitious decarbonization goals in the world, SMUD looks for new ways to engage customers in programs that help them save money and protect the planet,” he said Richard Oberg, Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Advanced Energy Solutions Program. “In an area like Sacramento, which can experience significant heat waves in the summer, load flexibility is critical. SMUD customers can help balance demand during peak times through behavioral response. These easy-to-use tools emphasize education and gamification, which gives customers insights into the important roles they have in our collective decarbonization efforts. “

Utilities around the United States

Customers rise to the energy saving challenge

Last summer, Opower Behavioral Demand Programs ran in the California ISO, PJM Interconnection serving large parts of the East Coast, New York ISO, and The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) electricity markets. Opower’s history.

Customers received educational emails about impending seasonal changes and tips on how to save energy. Personalized, post-event feedback has proven to be critical to the success of behavioral demand response programs as evidenced by the fact that those communications were opened at an average of 53% – which is 2.5X the industry average. And in the case of CPS Energy, 32% of survey respondents said their satisfaction with the energy provider increased because of the alerts.

“With extreme weather events increasing, reducing peak demand is more important than ever.” Matt O’Keefegroup vice president of Opower for Oracle Energy and Water.

“Behavioral demand reduces this barrier by making it easy for customers to participate – driving energy awareness and giving people a sense of accomplishment in a highly cost-effective and scalable way.”

Guiding, and rewarding, energy-saving behavior

Opower Behavioral Demand Response Solutions, some of which use incentives in addition to behavioral nudges, encourage customers to reduce their load on peak event days. They consist of pre-season communications that prepare people to be part of the program, pre-event notifications that alert them to the disabling event and ask them to reduce their energy use, and post-event communications that celebrate their performance. These programs are also unique in that they seek to gamify the experience of shifting energy usage. As part of the post-event notifications, customers are rewarded for their contributions to social media, highlighting how much they have saved.

Behavioral Demand Response makes customers a vital part of shifting demand. The Brattle Group reinforces how customers must be involved in decarbonization efforts if the industry is going to achieve its aggressive 2040 targets. For additional information, please visit: https://www.oracle.com/industries/utilities/products/opower-demand-flexibility/

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