By Washington Business Journal

Arlington-based OPower, whose energy monitoring and management software is used by dozens of utilities, is readying a Facebook app it hopes will encourage consumers to improve their energy consumption habits.

Opower has partnered with Facebook and the Natural Resources Defense Council to develop the app. It will let consumers benchmark their own power consumption against similar homes nationally, compare their energy use with friends and enter energy-saving competitions.

⿿Studies have shown that the average U.S. consumer spends about six minutes per year thinking about their energy,⿝ Opower said in a statement. ⿿The joint effort is designed to change that by harnessing the power of social networking to supercharge consumer engagement with energy efficiency.⿝

Opower says Commonwealth Edison Co., the city of Palo Alto, Calif., and Glendale Water and Power are the first utilities to participate by letting their customers import their usage data into the energy application. Several other utilities will be announced in coming weeks, it says.

The application will be launched in early 2012.

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