Opower Reviews

Updated March 13, 2015
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4.3
52 Reviews
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Opower Founder & CEO Daniel Yates
Daniel Yates
90 Ratings

52 Employee Reviews

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  1. 3 people found this helpful

    Unorganized and Snobby Management

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Analyst in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Analyst in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (less than a year)

    Pros

    Culture, young crowd, company just went public and is growing immensely,
    Cool office space with great kitchen (watch video online)

    Cons

    Unorganized HR department, leaves employees without answers to offers, very pretentious (not in a good way), many employees are very snooty

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't be so snobby and unorganized

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Mar 17, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience at Opower. Please feel welcome to talk to any HR representative about your concerns. Thanks for the review and feedback - and sharing your perspective.

  2. 8 people found this helpful

    Smoke and Mirrors Hide the Unpleasant Reality

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Director, Client Solutions in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Director, Client Solutions in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Opower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    - There are some very bright people
    - EE and conservation are critical societal goals

    Cons

    - Arrogant, dismissive attitude towards market and utility clients...and some colleagues sadly
    - Limited opportunity for professional development
    - Corrosive internal politics
    - Many of the leaders are very reactionary, play obvious favorites
    - Work life balance is poor

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Treat clients and employees with respect and openess
    - Set expectations and hold to them
    - Don't reward backstabbing, petty politics

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 4 people found this helpful

    Great mission and vision, let down by internal politics and ways of working...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Designed to do good for environment, utilities and utility customers.

    First impression - fun loving, easy going and incredibly intelligent workforce.

    Cons

    Work life balance is very poor. Always on culture.

    The company suffers from ivy league syndrome, lots of employees in their first job, hungry for success but with little work or real life experience. No true team spirit, a lot of folk are just out for themselves.

    You have to watch your back!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Encourage better team working and collaboration across lines of business.

    Better communication about organisation changes. People just disappear!

    Prepare for staff turnover, no longer the promise of IPO wealth.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Jun 12, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We truly appreciate you taking the time to leave us a review. We're happy to hear you've been enjoying our 'do good for the environment' approach and time spent working with other intelligent people ... More

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  5. 14 people found this helpful

    Once a great place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Opower full-time

    Pros

    You can feel good that the work you do helps people save energy, and through that, helps protect the natural environment.

    Cons

    A lot of mediocre managers, no real career path/growth/opportunities, no real HR department, no 401(k) match, unimpressive salaries and stock options, very little diversity, headquarters is in suburban Virginia.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire more grown-ups who know how to inspire, motivate, and manage staff. Be less passive-aggressive when working assumptions are challenged. Add women/people of color/gays to your all-male management team.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful

    Some good, some bad

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Smart, generally engaged co-workers
    Opportunities for mentorship and learning from some of the best
    Unique company at the intersection of energy and technology
    Outside brand recognition and interest in company
    Contrary to what others say, good work/life balance compared with consulting/banking, probably bad when compared with working a more general "industry" role

    Cons

    Increasingly confused mission, value proposition of original energy efficiency product was direct and marketable, but increasing forays into broader aspects of utility operations have less clear value proposition from the outside and are problematically moving the company away from its pure play roots and focus on double bottom line

    Frustratingly, there's also a pervasive thread of elitism in the organization, which manifests itself in management seeming ignorant of significant problems with employee satisfaction and the company's product/mission (not sure if this is purposeful of not). This needs to change!

    There's also a huge amount of pressure on middle managers and lower level employees to deliver value through improving products and thinking of new products to design, build, and sell. However, there's so much pressure that some pretty shaky ideas move up through the organization, while the tenuous nature of these ideas is hidden behind powerpoint slides and other charades.

    Finally, compensation and perks are just not satisfactory. Many employees complain of taking a big compensation hit when they moved to Opower. While this may have been okay in the early days when the company had start up value and a sole double bottom line mission, now that it's an established company and the equity isn't doing all that great, compensation needs to be commensurate with the caliber of people Opower is trying to hire.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Own up to what's going wrong with this company, show humility, and fix it. There's a lot of value to be had with all the client relationships, data, and products, but think deeply about what the industry needs and don't try to sell snake oil. The original ee product had clear, tangible value proposition. You have a behavioral design hammer that worked at least once, but the company needs to be more flexible than applying this hammer to every problem. You have the brand recognition, and breadth and diversity of talent to pursue many paths to growth in this industry.

    I'm really excited about what this company can accomplish, but there has to be change.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 4 people found this helpful

    Lots of opportunities, lots of issues

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Engagement Manager in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Career growth opportunities, high level of personal autonomy, talented and highly motivated colleagues. Opower is a great place to learn how to work with different kinds of super-smart people all while working for a noble cause.

    Cons

    While the people are talented, a collaborative and constructive team culture is noticeably absent. When faced with challenges, the first reaction most often encountered is "how did this happen" rather than "let's find a solution", especially when working across different departments. The strongest leaders in the company are those that adopt a solution-oriented approach, but there are too few of those in the middle and upper management ranks.

    Professional development culture is basically non-existent. Opportunities exist as the company is growing, but upper management doesn't place a priority on people development. As a result honest feedback is hard to come by, finding mentors is difficult and most bosses don't take an active role in developing and creating opportunities for their reports.

    Finally, Opower's people practices are incredibly poor. The HR team seems to exist primarily to protect the companies interests rather than keeping employees happy. The fact that pay and benefits are slightly below average doesn't help, especially as Opower is no longer a hip startup but a public company whose challenges attracting talent will only grow.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Invest in caring for your people, delegate more decision-making authority and really listen to clients and their needs.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Opower Response

    Dec 9, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    Thank you for sharing your insight. It’s always helpful to hear things from a different perspective. That said, I’m sorry to hear you are feeling this way. Earlier in 2014, we brought on our first ... More

  8. 12 people found this helpful

    Wasted potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I worked at Opower full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Opower has high hiring standards in most areas, and it's nice to be around so many talented people. It's also a company where people become close friends with their coworkers.

    The mission is legit. You feel like your work is meaningful because it saves people money and reduces carbon emissions.

    Cons

    Compensation is always the lowest possible amount HR thinks they can get away with. People get huge counteroffers, and most of them leave anyway because they were insulted. Of course, if management and HR thinks they can string someone along with the promise of a possible raise in a few months, they'll do that instead of a firm counteroffer. Always the lowest compensation possible.

    The CFO runs the company and refuses to invest in R&D. Teams go underfunded, maintenance gets neglected, quality slips in embarrassing ways, revenue is lost, and then there's a bunch of meetings where management thinks really hard about how to solve all these problems in ways other than hiring people to work on them. There are armies of people at Opower who analyze processes and organizational efficiency, though.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Oct 16, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We appreciate your feedback and are sincerely sorry to hear you feel this way. Fortunately, the concern about compensation was identified in the recent Oployee survey and an action plan is already in ... More

  9. 10 people found this helpful

    Great people and a worthwhile mission, but there is an incredible amount of tech debt. Also, the software stack is too complicated for its own good.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Operations Engineer in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    The people. There are some incredibly smart and interesting people at the company, and the mission is something that people rally behind.

    Cons

    Being an engineer on the operations side is soul sucking.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Just hire a CTO all ready. Also, please stop calling the only product that makes you money, and the thing that all your clients are using "the legacy application". You are driving great engineers away with the crazy tech debt, the over-complicated software stack, and the dirty hacks "for now" that persist in production.

    Also, pay your operations people. Why do you pay $90k - 180k to engineers to work in a vacuum and eventually crap out the next version of abandonware, while operations engineers who are on call for this garbage make $60k - $100k?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Oct 15, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We're so sorry to hear you feel this way and appreciate your feedback greatly. We've forwarded your concerns to HR leadership. Also, we expect to be sharing our compensation philosophy by the end of ... More

  10. 8 people found this helpful

    Wonderful. Chaotic & disorganized. Poor compensation.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    -terrific company culture on many levels
    -hire the most intelligent, hard-working people
    -semi-stocked fridge/pantry & fun events
    -open/flexible work environment

    Cons

    -semi-stocked fridge/pantry
    -HR is a mess that operates with the disorganization of a small start-up and the snail's pace of a large company—the worst of both worlds
    -another HR issue: compensation is low; they hire the best ppl, but don't do well to retain them
    -general chaos, disorganization, lack of processes/guidance in many aspects of the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At a behavioral science company, HR should be utilizing forward-thinking practices based on behavioral science to motivate and retain employees. Also, the general expectation of a much-more-than-40-hour work week does not align with the low compensation.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Opower Response

    Oct 14, 2014Employer Brand Manager

    We sincerely appreciate your review and are sorry to hear you feel this way. Hearing from Oployees is crucial to maintaining our culture as we continue to rapidly expand in the U.S. and globally ... More

  11. 4 people found this helpful

    Still a decent place to work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I have been working at Opower full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    * Very smart people. Lots of very intelligent, very dedicated people. Most have a good attitude and make it enjoyable to collaborate.
    * Great company mission.
    * President Alex is very inspiring and a true leader.
    * Good location in Arlington. Not far from DC with lots of restaurants and housing options for those who move to the area.
    * Fun office distractions -- lots of parties, happy hours, free shwag, to keep things exciting and wow employees who have never seen anything similar at a workplace.
    * Many opportunities to perform well and earn promotions.

    Cons

    * Work-life balance is terrible. People are expected to be always on and prepared to produce under unrealistic deadlines.
    * Client delivery teams perpetually operate under impossible deadlines and their chaos drives people out of that organization. It's also hard to attract the right kind of talent here. Chaos rains down on other parts of the company from the delivery teams.
    * Compensation is not very competitive, and Opower is stingy with stock. S1 filing indicates that the founders own 39% of the company still, but nearly every employee, new or old, was granted a negligible number of options.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Still a pretty decent place to work. Try to be more generous with stock and compensation because it will give employees a feeling of ownership and loyalty. We are generous with our time and effort on a daily basis and want to feel valued. Try to get more training for your middle managers, some of them are making their employees lives miserable.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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