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Science


Opower shares soared on the energy software company’s first day of trading on the New York Stock Exchange, opening more than 30 percent above their offering price.

The Arlington, Va., company, which sells consumer energy efficiency software to the utility industry, priced 6.1 million shares at $19, raising nearly $116 million. Shares opened at $25 but drifted down a bit through the morning.

In an interview, Chief Executive Dan Yates said Opower is helping utilities navigate a rapidly shifting landscape, as deregulation offers consumers more options in the marketplace, renewables become more pervasive and demand grows for improved energy efficiency.

Among other services, the company analyzes energy usage data and provides consumers with insights into how they can reduce their consumption.

“We come in with this highly cost-efficient cloud platform that allows utilities to use their most important assets — their data, their channels and their credibility — to improve their ability to engage their customers,” Yates said. “We help them accomplish their goals, help their consumers save money and help the environment by reducing usage.”

He said the company helped customers save 1.9 terawatt hours in 2013 — enough to power all the homes in Miami for a year — up from 1 terawatt hour the year before.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs acted as lead book-running managers for Opower’s offering. Underwriters have a 30-day option to buy an additional 915,000 shares, which would raise another $17 million.

Yates said Opower will use the funds to grow its business and improve its technology by investing heavily in sales, marketing and research and development.

The other reason Opower decided to go public now was to stand out in the market and demonstrate to utilities that the company is on solid financial ground.

“We have utility clients that make 30-year decisions and want to pick partners who are going to be around,” Yates said.




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