Opower Hopes to Cut Energy Use For Millions in China

Nov. 23, 2014
While the US and China have announced a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Opower has unveiled a program to help cut energy use in China, which will help the emissions-reduction effort.

At roughly the same time the US and China announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, Opower announced that it’s now offering its online energy efficiency program to CLP Power Hong Kong Limited’s (CLP Power) 2.1 million residential customers.

Energy efficiency is expected to be the key to meeting US/China greenhouse gas emission goals, says the Alliance to Save Energy. Under the goals, the U.S. will build on its existing efforts to  reduce emissions with a 26-28 percent reduction by 2025 from 2005 levels. China committed to clean up its fast growing economy to reach peak emissions by no later than 2030, and to boost its  use of non-fossil fuels by 20 percent.

Opower’s program in China aims to encourage CLP Power customers to change their behavior. The customers now have access to personalized energy usage data and energy savings recommendations.

China Light & Power (CLP) launched Opower’s printed Home Energy Reports in July 2014 to approximately 56,000 customers, and now all of CLP Power’s 2.1 million residential customers will be able to access their Home Energy Reports online.

The program, like Opower’s US program, focuses on motivating homeowners by comparing a homeowners’ energy usage to their neighbors’ and to previous bills.

“Across Asia, there is a significant opportunity to help utilities tackle challenges in the energy sector and build better customer relationships,” said Dan Yates, chief executive of Opower in a press release.

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While household usage patterns are very different in China than they are in the US, Opower’s program addresses the customers in similar ways, said Agustin Fonts, product manager at Opower.

“In Hong Kong, for example, there is almost no heating usage. Instead the biggest energy consumption comes from air conditioning. Therefore our energy advice needs to be tailored to the user’s usage patters,” he said.

In addition, China and other countries deal with users data and security somewhat differently than the US, Fonts said. “We take care to ensure that customer data is protected according to the country’s regulations.”

About the Author

Lisa Cohn | Contributing Editor

I focus on the West Coast and Midwest. Email me at [email protected]

I’ve been writing about energy for more than 20 years, and my stories have appeared in EnergyBiz, SNL Financial, Mother Earth News, Natural Home Magazine, Horizon Air Magazine, Oregon Business, Open Spaces, the Portland Tribune, The Oregonian, Renewable Energy World, Windpower Monthly and other publications. I’m also a former stringer for the Platts/McGraw-Hill energy publications. I began my career covering energy and environment for The Cape Cod Times, where Elisa Wood also was a reporter. I’ve received numerous writing awards from national, regional and local organizations, including Pacific Northwest Writers Association, Willamette Writers, Associated Oregon Industries, and the Voice of Youth Advocates. I first became interested in energy as a student at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, where I helped design and build a solar house.

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