A visit to Opower, a company that uses behavior change science to enable energy savings

Even some Dan Pink in the men’s room … View on Flickr.com

Colleague Yael Harris, PhD, from Health Resources and Services Administration (@HRSAgov) and I were able to see DC-based (well, Arlington, but close enough) Opower (@Opower) up close, thanks to our guides in Policy, Partnerships and Public Affairs, Arkadi Gerney and Nick Payton.

Besides being a Generation Y friendly workplace, it has behavior change cues everywhere (and why wouldn’t it, since this is what they do for a living). Interestingly, this seems to lend to a lot of pro-health touches throughout, and this isn’t even a health organization. Check out the mission statement in the photos – you could almost swap out “save energy” with “stay healthy.” And yet, health care by and large does not use this science even though we’ve studied it (See: Behavior Change: What can we learn from other industries? – EXAMPLES | Ted Eytan, MD). As usual, I see many analogies to clinical medicine and health.

I’ve written several other blog posts about this model which you can review here. Photos are below. Enjoy, thanks for the tour, and let’s celebrate the innovation coming from our nation’s capital.

Ted Eytan, MD