Strengthening Customer Relations While Saving kWh
After several years of effectively being out of the energy conservation game, Nevada Power and Sierra Pacific Power (now NV Energy) made the decision to launch the ENERGY STAR® Residential Lighting program, administered by Ecova.
As the program realized success, Ecova and the utilities recognized that they were not sufficiently addressing an important customer segment – the Hispanic community – which comprised approximately 20 percent of their customer base. Many of the state’s metropolitan areas boast an even larger Hispanic percentage. In North Las Vegas, for example, 37 percent of the population is Hispanic.
Because the Hispanic community is an important consumer group – accounting for the largest share of existing home sales among minority groups – a pilot campaign aimed at the Hispanic market, “Gane Ahorrando Energía” or “Win by Saving Energy,” was launched and then expanded in the next year by partnering with The Home Depot. The campaign focused on NV Energy’s Las Vegas territory with a language-specific print, radio and television campaign, using “Did You Know?” (“¿Sabia Que?”) “Working Together for Change” (“Trabajando Juntos Para Cambiar”) and “Win by Saving Energy!” (“¡Gane Ahorrando Energia!”). The campaign culminated in a retail-based promotion presented at The Home Depot.
The results from this promotion include both quantitative and qualitative success indicators:
- Sales of ENERGY STAR qualified CFLs increased by 100% compared to sales in 2005 during the same month in 2004.
- The Home Depot saw increased sales in the following product categories during the promotional period, as compared to average monthly sales for the first half of the year:- CFLs: +13.7%
– Ceiling fans: +11.3%
– Light fixtures: +12.0%
- Store traffic increased during the month of July – about 3 to 5 percent – especially on weekends. One location of The Home Depot reported customer count was up 5 percent the week leading up to the July 9 event compared to the same week in 2004.
The program distributed 1,000 bilingual educational consumer handouts throughout the month-long event schedule.
In addition to event festivities, like live radio broadcasts, children’s workshops, raffles and giveaways, the event included conducting surveys with Hispanic participants. 695 surveys were completed in exchange for an ENERGY STAR T-shirt printed in Spanish. Valuable information was gleaned from the surveys, which assisted with future promotional efforts:
- 74 percent of respondents were born outside the U.S.
- 83 percent of survey respondents stated that they read the information included with their utility bills; interestingly, 46 percent of customers surveyed favor television or radio as the communication channel to learn about energy-efficiency programs and special offers (16 percent favor bill inserts).
- The 26-40 age group represented more than half of the respondents,which suggests that marketing efforts should be targeted to this age demographic.
- About 62 percent of respondents indicated that Spanish was the primary language spoken at home.
- More than 63 percent of respondents owned their homes.
- 71 percent of respondents recognized the ENERGY STAR logo; 55 percent related the logo to energy savings and 27 percent related it to quality.
- Roughly 80 percent of the survey respondents felt that product quality was an important factor when considering a purchase of items for their homes; 50 percent considered price very important.
- 76 percent of respondents listed energy use as a primary consideration in their purchasing process, likely because of the promotion messaging.
Annual Energy Savings: 264,916,279 kWh
Total Units Moved 2005-2007: 4,361,954 ENERGY STAR CFLs
These promotional efforts targeted to the Hispanic community earned NV Energy a 2005 ENERGY STAR Excellence in Promotion Award.