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 December 7, 2015 - 4:27 PM EST
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Opower Applauds Congressional Action on Energy Innovation

Joins with EnerNOC, FirstFuel and C3 Energy to Help Utilities Better Engage Consumers and Manage Grid

Opower (NYSE: OPWR) joined with EnerNOC, FirstFuel and C3 Energy today to congratulate the US House of Representatives for passing Section 1107 (21) of HR 8, which encourages utilities to deploy advanced energy analytics technology and requires state regulators to consider allowing utilities to earn a rate of return on their investments in such technology. This technology helps energy consumers reduce their bills and helps utilities better manage the grid, all of which improves the safety, reliability, efficiency, affordability, and emissions profile of the electricity and gas sectors.

“Energy intelligence software empowers consumers with the tools and understanding to lower their energy costs, and enables utilities to engage their customers to achieve improved grid outcomes,” said Tim Healy, Chairman and CEO of EnerNOC. “I commend Chairman Fred Upton and the many supporters of this provision for taking action to ensure more Americans benefit from this cutting-edge technology.”

"It's vitally important that our regulatory policies reward utilities for investments that deliver the best outcomes for their customers and for the advancement of the grid," said Alex Laskey, President and Co-Founder of Opower. "Congressional leaders have sent an important message: that the regulatory policies of yesterday shouldn't stand in the way of utilities that are making the transition to a cleaner and more customer-centric energy future."

“Utilities around the country have been innovating and planning investments in customer energy intelligence,” said Swapnil Shah, CEO of FirstFuel. “This provision will enable their investments to be realized appropriately by their shareholders, as well as their customers.”

“State of the art technology leveraging big data, cloud computing, and machine learning is now available to optimize the power generation and distribution value chain,” said Ed Abbo, C3 Energy President and CTO. “Section 1107 (21) will help states accelerate the technology adoption curve and the transition to a smarter, more efficient, and more sustainable energy system.”

By passing this provision, the House has taken a critical step toward addressing an outdated regulatory barrier that stands in the way of large-scale adoption of this technology and, in turn, increased economic benefits for all Americans.

While the software industry has evolved significantly in recent years, and software solutions are now predominantly cloud-based, or delivered through web browsers as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), regulatory accounting practices have lagged. Utilities are allowed to earn a rate of return on “on-premise” software, or software that can be physically possessed and used on a CD-ROM or a disk, but they cannot earn a rate of return on SaaS. This creates a misguided incentive for utilities to take physical ownership of software that needs to run on expensive hardware, instead of using SaaS. SaaS solutions reduce maintenance and overall costs, facilitate the ongoing installation of software upgrades by vendors, and simplify operations for users.

This legislation also recognizes that new poles and wires—for which utilities can earn a rate of return— are not always the solution, and that challenges faced by our modern electric grid can be increasingly solved by software. Allowing utilities to earn a similar rate of return on SaaS to pole-and-wire investments will level the playing field, and ensure that the most cost-effective investment is made.

About Opower

Opower (NYSE: OPWR) is an enterprise software company that is transforming the way utilities engage with their customers. Opower’s customer engagement platform enables utilities to reach their customers at moments that matter through proactive and digitized communications that drive energy savings, increase customer engagement and satisfaction, and lower customer operation costs. Opower’s software has been deployed to more than 95 utility partners around the world and reaches more than 57 million households and businesses. For more information, please visit www.opower.com and follow us on Twitter at @Opower.

Forward-looking Statements

This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding benefits from the use of Opower’s solutions. Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Opower represent Opower’s views as of the date of this press release. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions. While Opower may elect to update these statements at some point in the future, Opower specifically disclaims any obligation to do so.

Opower
Alex Kotran, 330-607-5589
alex.kotran@opower.com


Source: Business Wire (December 7, 2015 - 4:27 PM EST)

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