Marketing innovation allows Puget Sound Energy to steadily increase energy efficiency engagement

By Allison Herdic, Industry Researcher –

For years, many utilities have marketed energy efficiency in hopes of getting customers’ attention and, hopefully, convincing them to modify their energy usage. However, as marketers compete for exposure in a multi-media world, what types of promotions can be used to meet customers where they are, or in ways they may not expect?

Recently, Puget Sound Energy (PSE) has made a commitment to connect customers in new and innovative ways. Several years ago, primary research via extensive customer surveying and focus groups revealed the utility’s green-minded customers were largely happy with PSE’s service. Upon uncovering these learnings, PSE endeavored in 2014 to define and engage a different audience, though this audience was difficult to reach. This was what they called the “Standard Sounder” customer. These people, who comprised 18% of the utility’s customer base, were more concerned with cost savings than the environment.

With these people in mind, PSE launched its Energy Upgrades Campaign in 2014 to engage with customers through energy efficiency education and promotions. Through “boots on the ground” marketing, PSE interacted directly with thousands of customers while distributing thousands of energy-saving prize vouchers at retail and community events.

In 2015, PSE took its marketing one step further through the distribution of a Willy Wonka-inspired “Golden Upgrade” ticket designed to entice customers to discover an energy efficiency prize. PSE took home Chartwell’s 2016 Gold Award in Program Marketing for its 2015 campaign marketing efforts.

Last year, PSE once again set out on a bold new effort to not only lower energy bills, but create opportunities to make energy efficiency approachable and exciting to customers. Through a partnership with nine campaign sponsors, PSE created an integrated communications effort that sought to start a conversation with customers through a simple offer – a free LED bulb. This was PSE’s first step in connecting customers with rebates and services in their communities and local retail stores. Overall, the campaign hand-delivered and/or mailed thousands of LEDs and garnered millions of impressions.

On Wednesday, Aug. 30, PSE Program Manager Jenna Haskins will join Chartwell as the featured presenter of our Webinar on The Evolution of Puget Sound Energy’s Award-Winning Energy Upgrades Campaign. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear in-depth details of PSE’s marketing journey, and will have an opportunity to ask Haskins questions.

Looking for fresh, new and inspiring marketing concepts for achieving energy efficiency based customer engagement? Register today and join your industry colleagues for this idea-generating event.

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