Oracle’s Opower energy-efficiency platform has helped SoCalGas customers save 10 million therms of natural gas and reduce bills by $11 million
SoCalGas and Oracle today announced that the Home Energy Reports SoCalGas customers receive each month have helped reduce natural gas use by 10 million therms since the program began in 2013. This has resulted in customers saving more than $11 million on their bills. The savings is enough to supply 21,000 Southern California households with natural gas for a year and also has had the effect of eliminating more than 53,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.
Home Energy Reports, included with most customer’s bills, show how much energy each household is using compared to similar homes and provide recommendations for ways to save energy. The comparison is meant to make customers more aware of their energy use and the potential for using less.
“This milestone is a testament that small changes to our energy consumption behavior can amount to significant energy savings,” said Dan Rendler, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas. “Considering the average household in Southern California uses just 447 therms of natural gas per year, reaching this level of savings shows the commitment our customers have made to use energy wisely. Former Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz recently citied, ‘energy efficiency…is likely to be the most cost-efficient approach to decarbonization, and one of the most effective options across all economic sectors.’ SoCalGas is pleased to provide our customers with the tools they need to use natural and increasingly renewable natural gas efficiently and to reduce environmental impacts.”
SoCalGas also recently announced its vision to become the cleanest natural gas utility in North America and committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030.
“California has some of the most ambitious energy efficiency goals of any state and SoCalGas raises the bar for driving energy-efficiency programs that support a more sustainable future,” said Scott Neuman, Opower group vice president at Oracle Utilities. “This milestone clearly shows the impact utilities can have on the environment when they empower their customers with information that can encourage and drive positive change.”
SoCalGas has long been a leader in researching and developing new technologies that improve energy efficiency and protect the environment. Between 2014 and 2018, SoCalGas energy efficiency programs delivered more than 180 million therms in energy savings, enough natural gas usage for 403,000 households a year, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by nearly 955,000 metric tons. This is the equivalent of removing more than 202,000 cars from the road annually. These advances have also helped save SoCalGas customers more than $198 million in utility bill costs. In 2018 alone, SoCalGas’ energy efficiency programs saved customers $57 million.
SoCalGas first started delivering Opower Home Energy Reports (HERs) to its customers in 2013. Each report shows a household’s average monthly natural gas usage in comparison to like homes and provides intelligent recommendations for reducing use.
Currently, more than 600,000 SoCalGas customers are receiving monthly HERs – representing more than 11 million reports delivered since the program began. Tips range from using pool heaters and washing machines more efficiently and economically to better utilizing smart thermostats to maximize savings. Every recommendation is tailored to each specific household and prioritized for its energy-saving impact and likelihood of being acted upon quickly.
Opower energy-efficiency initiatives, including Home Energy Reports, are part of a larger demand-side management product suite that includes Peak Management, Proactive Alerts, connected home and marketing solutions, and energy management web tools. Working together, these solutions are designed to inform and motivate consumers to better control their home energy consumption and cost, while allowing utilities to proactively meet regulatory requirements, decrease the cost to serve, reduce call center volume, and improve customer satisfaction.