Opower(ing) Energy Efficiency with Elastic

It’s not every day we think about our energy consumption. Do you know what you paid on your last electricity bill? Or what your thermostat is set to right now? Less often, we think about how to reduce it — and even then, how to take action.

Opower is a company that has made a business out of it. In fact, they’ve helped utility companies help their customers (i.e., you and me, the energy consumer) save over 4 terawatt-hours, roughly the equivalent of taking San Francisco off the power grid for an entire year.

So what does Elastic have to do with Opower? Well, a few months back, we were bumbling around the Internets (like you do) looking for cool uses of our software, and came across an enthusiastic blog post from Opower engineer Ben Siemon, describing their use of Elasticsearch. We had to know more.

A few phone calls later, Ben and his team invited us for a visit. We packed up our gear, jumped on a plane, and rolled into the Opower offices in Arlington, VA, ready to record. One by one, we got the full story from the developers who work with Elasticsearch every day to build and maintain their internal segmentation tool and UI, Utonium. (Here's the reference, if you're curious.) Utonium puts data and insight into the nontechnical hands of Opower employees who then decide what type of energy advice will have the most impact on given segments of a utility company’s customer population.

I won’t go into all of the details (that’s what the video above is for), but will note that throughout the process of filming the Opower team, it was clear that they’re on a mission to make the world a better place. Yes, that sounds cliché, but it’s honest. Currently, we only have one planet to call home, and we’re limited to the resources it provides. If it’s possible to leverage the power of data to use those resource more wisely, the more power to Opower.

So, sit back and relax for a few minutes as Opower shares their Elasticsearch story. And, to all the Opower folks out there, a tip of the hat to you — keep up the good work.

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