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Austin Utilities joins social media train

Austin Utilities will soon join the ever-growing world of social media.

It will be part of an Opower social energy application being developed with Facebook and the National Resources Defense Council. The app will give customers a chance to compare their energy use with friends and compete in savings challenges through Facebook.

"So many folks are using social media, and we're just finally getting to that level," said Dave Thompson, residential account representative for Austin Utilities. "One more way for us to connect to our customers."

Those who decide to get on board with the Facebook app will be able to compare themselves to their network of friends when it comes to utilities. Thompson hopes it will spark an interest or desire to compete to "be a little better than the next guy or your friend."

Austin Utilities customers will be able to choose if they would like to participate in the app, which will be available early next year. When there is a firm date of release, Austin Utilities will send out more information in its newsletter and do some promotional work to get the word out.


Owatonna Public Utilities and Rochester Public Utilities also will be part of the social media app.

Austin Utilities has had zero social media presence up until this Facebook app, which is why it's so excited to be able to finally jump into this area, Thompson said.

"We're looking forward to getting in there," he said. "We just hope that this brings us to the next level."

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