Posted to Energy Central in the Customer Care Group
Matt Chester's picture
Energy Analyst Chester Energy and Policy

Official Energy Central Community Manager of Generation and Energy Management Networks. Matt is an energy analyst in Orlando FL (by way of Washington DC) working as an independent energy...

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  • Jan 10, 2022
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There certainly seems to be a holiday for everything, and so while this one may not be on everyone's normal calendar it's certainly a day worthy of recognition: January 10 is known as "National Cut Your Energy Costs Day," as first established by the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance but having since spread to the rest of the world. 

Utilities are not only the power providers, but they can and must be the trusted energy advisors for all of their customers. So with that in mind, how is your customer care department prepared to help customers find ways to cut their energy costs on a regular basis? And are you doing anything noteworthy to emphasize these goals during this week? 

Let's share tips, tricks, and ideas in the answers below!

Matt, The best kept secret at all the power providers in my area of Arizona.

   Personally I think everyday is cut your energy cost day. I always turn off lights in rooms with no one using them. Even with all of my lights being super efficient LED lights. I also use solar screens to block heat in the Summer and remove them in fall and winters. I have reversible inflector air tight screens inside on my windows.i can block or make heat by reversing them in seconds. 

   I also cook in my solar ovens anytime of years. It's fun and keeps food moister and healthier. 

   I also dribble electric in might efficient 2016 chevy spark ev.  It is only about 50 cents vs a gallon of gas. I plugin at public free chargers when I am out running errands  

I have to say that I missed this holiday, which actually typifies one of the persistent challenges customers and their utilities face related to customer engagement.  Why don't I know about it from my utility?  Chances are that my bill may have included an insert with a message, or the website had a reminder, but I'm better engaged via email or SMS, and my utility didn't highlight the day.

 

"National Cut Your Energy Costs Day" should be a major event for every utility to amplify their customer engagement programs.   Who better than the utility to embrace this event annually with a multi-part multi-channel campaign to connect with customers about efficiency and the personal benefits of saving on utility bills?  

 

Approaching it like a marketing event (as all holidays should), utilities can easily build a playbook with a cool holiday slogan and some high-production creative elements for email, bill inserts, print and social messages to make customers aware of the available energy efficiency or money savings programs.  Take a look at the website to be sure it hosts that information in an easy to digest form with great visuals and calls to action.  Then blend the creative with links and QR codes to bring customers to the website to learn more.

 

If that customer outreach can link customers to a marketplace where they can find special offers or take advantage of special rebates, even better.  And, be sure that the customer service team gets a brief training and knowledge base update directing customers to the right website pages to learn more and enroll in these money savings programs.

 

 

And, don't limit efforts to a one-part campaign the week before the "holiday."  A multi-part campaign developing awareness and interest in EE and energy cost control can be a full January staple of a utility customer outreach program.  That's especially important for utilities with a marketplace, as it takes more than one touch or invitation to develop traffic that converts to a sale.  Campaigns with two or three developing touch points that build on the message and include calls to action to drive traffic generally increase over time and likely remain in the customer inbox for later engagement, too.  

 

All holidays are marketing events.  There's no excuse for utilities not to treat "National Cut Your Energy Costs Day" as an annual outreach campaign that builds EE and money savings awareness among their customers and remains a staple of their customer communication plan.  An easy playbook and a little campaign creative helps customers and utilities get and remain connected. 

 

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 11, 2022

Well said, Mark-- thanks for sharing! Don't let a good opportunity like such a holiday go without an outreach event. Social media, push notifications, texts, they can all be used for nudges to engage customers more. And we know the future of the successful utility is filled with much more involved customers, so they need to start flexing that today.