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When Should You Start Your Consumer Energy-Saving Campaign?

The calendar just turned to October and, even though it remains unseasonably warm in much of the country, winter weather is going to arrive sooner than later.

That means it’s time to revisit the energy-savings programs you run for both businesses and residential customers. Whether your programs are little more than energy-saving tips or you offer things such as energy audits or old appliance buybacks, it’s time to plan your strategy.

In fact, you probably should be announcing those programs or reminding people of their existence right about now. If not, consider your next billing cycle as an ideal time to spread the word.

Now is a time when people might actually pay attention. The summer is over and kids have been back in school for a while; in a month or so, people will begin to think about the holiday season, so now’s a good time.

So, how do you keep people informed?

Assuming you have pages on your website dedicated to the topic, it’s time to spruce them up a bit. Read and edit the material to remove dated content. Make sure any links are still working. And perhaps change the images you’re using with the material.

If there’s space on your home page, include reminder information and link it to your energy conservation section.

As for your press materials and bill stuffers, spruce them up as well. Highlight any new programs or programs that have been revised. Aside from removing outdated content, rewrite them with an eye toward being consumer friendly; that means writing in a conversational tone and avoiding industry jargon. Maybe a non-utility employee can read through the material to see if anything seems confusing.

Of course, any campaign wouldn’t be complete without a program to pitch it. There’s no magical formula to follow outside your normal routine. Pitch it widely, paying extra attention to smaller outlets that need material and may well run your information verbatim.

As for larger outlets, such as the local daily newspapers or the network TV affiliates, getting coverage (as usual) will be more difficult since energy conservation is an evergreen story. If you have any significant programs by all means push them; creating some sort of event may be a way to attract media attention.

Andy Gotlieb's picture

Thank Andy for the Post!

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