Focus on Energy is Wisconsin utilities’ statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program funded by the state’s investor-owned energy utilities and participating municipal and electric cooperative utilities. The Program works with eligible Wisconsin residents and businesses to install cost-effective energy efficiency and renewable energy projects, empowering them to make smart energy decisions with enduring economic benefits. Focus on Energy information, resources and financial incentives help implement projects that otherwise would not be completed. Its efforts help Wisconsin residents and businesses manage rising energy costs, promote in-state economic development, protect our environment, and control Wisconsin’s growing demand for electricity and natural gas. For more information, call 800.762.7077 or visit www.focusonenergy.com.
The Nicor Gas Energy Efficiency Program developed the “Unexpected Love Story” campaign to take their customers on a relatable energy efficiency journey while promoting furnace rebates. Research identified that more than half of the territories’ residential customers have been in their current home for 10 to 20 years, aligning with the average furnace lifecycle. The campaign, told through weekly social media posts, a bill insert, billboards and digital ads, highlighted a woman and the familiar experience of a turbulent relationship – but with an energy efficiency twist. Her relationship is with her old, battle-worn furnace.
The Unexpected Love Story campaign is an innovative comic strip-type love story, highlighting the reliability and cost-saving benefits of upgrading to an energy-efficient furnace. The campaign resulted in an 8.3% increase in furnace rebate participation, an 81% increase in Find a Contractor tool visits, a 298% increase in sessions driven from digital ad clicks, and a 102% increase in website visits from Facebook. Through this effort, they were able to educate customers about the importance of having safe, efficient equipment in a unique way.
Focus on Energy® developed the “Wisconsin Is In” campaign to specifically highlight energy efficiency initiatives in rural communities throughout the state of Wisconsin. A 2016 study by the Focus on Energy Program Administrator found that rural areas were underserved, in some areas by more than 50 percent, in comparison to urban communities regarding incentives, technical resources and services, and other Focus on Energy program benefits. In an effort to improve rural customer inclusion and increase the demand for and implementation of energy efficient measures, Focus on Energy partnered with Brand Cool (now Verdant), a marketing agency that specializes in energy efficiency marketing research and development, to form the “Wisconsin Is In” campaign that launched in January 2018.
In the Vectren Energy Efficiency Program’s school campaign, our outreach team played the role of energy guidance counselors to support school maintenance staff and contractors. Our goal was to boost therm savings over a six month period in rural and urban areas. During the campaign, schools generated nine times more therm savings than the previous six months, and continued delivering increased results into the next year. Our campaign’s successes are attributed to the upfront investment in in-house market research, tailored messaging for each school, and the informed, engaged, in-person support provided by the counselors. This support helped schools find the best energy-saving solutions, led to more informed decisions, and caused average savings per application to increase three times versus the previous year.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in Illinois, and our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. Since 2008, the Ameren Illinois energy efficiency programs have helped our customers save over $850 million in energy costs, providing an economic boost to residents and businesses throughout central and southern Illinois. Over the next several years, the company will invest in a groundbreaking initiative to provide energy-saving benefits to more moderate- and low income customers. In addition, Ameren Illinois has committed to help develop new companies and create new local job opportunities in the energy efficiency arena across downstate Illinois.