Community outreach and education to increase participation in a residential energy-savings program
C+G was hired by a large energy delivery company to plan and execute an extensive community outreach and public education program to support participation in a residential energy savings program. The company had struggled to increase participation in the program as it had already reached the "low-hanging fruit" and found that direct mail was no longer gaining new enrollees. The complexity of the demand supply management program and customers' concerns about comfort during hot summer months were the foremost barriers to participation.
To increase participation, awareness and understanding of the program, C+G targeted stakeholder groups and educated their members or employees about the program. Target groups included, but were not limited to, neighborhood and homeowner associations, municipalities, business groups, environmental groups, community and civic organizations, colleges and houses of worship.
C+G arranged presentations, meetings and tabling events, and designed and distributed both electronic and printed materials, including website content, printed and electronic newsletters, presentation slides and handouts. Additionally, a social media campaign was developed and implemented through existing corporate accounts, particularly Facebook and Twitter, and customized toolkits were created for stakeholder groups, facilitating their ability to share information with their members.
C+G increased enrollment, and heightened awareness and knowledge of the program among potential and current customers. As many residents had a poor understanding of the program, addressing both prospective and current participants' questions and concerns regarding the program not only helped enroll new participants, but also advanced positive customer relations and program retention.