Earlier this year, Opower entered into a partnership with FirstFuel, allowing the company to expand into the commercial building efficiency business. That partnership has already paid off, according to Opower CEO Dan Yates.
Speaking on the company’s third quarter earnings call, Yates said that Opower closed a “major expansion” with an existing large utility customer in Q3. Opower, with partner FirstFuel, will provide the customer engagement platform for the utility's entire customer base, from commercial and industrial down to residential.
“We won this business by leading a team of strategic partners. Each partner will integrate its solution with our data platform to produce a unified customer experience,” said Yates. “This is a testament to the maturity of our architecture.”
The third quarter also saw 50 percent top-line growth year-over-year, with reported revenue of $33.8 million for Q3 2014.
Opower experienced growth on various fronts, including overseas and with gas utilities, as well as cross-sales with existing customers. International sales made up 16 percent of third-quarter revenue, a figure that the company hopes to grow to 50 percent in the long term.
Within the U.S., however, Opower also sees significant room for growth. It will grow its platform with third-party vendors and also said it is working with a large system integrator that could help bring the company's products to additional utilities.
Opower is also dipping further into the demand-response business with behavioral demand response. Its behavioral demand-response program delivered an average 3 percent reduction in total home peak demand to a handful of utilities this summer. Although it requires smart meters, the program is cheaper to deliver than some other forms of residential demand response because it only relies on digital communications and does not offer any financial incentive, as many other programs do (including the one Opower runs with Baltimore Gas & Electric).
“It’s cheaper for the utility; it scales,” said Yates. “We can just turn it on.” Although Opower is touting its behavioral demand response capability to utilities, it also has a new OpenStat API, which will launch in early 2015 to allow thermostat makers' products to be compatible with Opower’s platform. The move will make Opower a contender with other bring-your-own-thermostat platform providers such as AutoGrid and EnergyHub.
Rolling out programs more rapidly has been a focus for Opower of late. Yates noted that the average time to launch with a new utility has decreased in both the U.S. and in international deployments.
The Washington, D.C.-based company expects fourth-quarter revenue between $33.2 million and $33.6 million, slightly above estimates.