Utility Case Study: PPL Electric Utilities Program Rebrand

PPL Electric Utilities (PPL), based in Allentown, Penn., has sponsored instant discounts on ENERGY STAR® lighting at retailers throughout the diverse service territory since 2009, and Ecova’s Marketing & Creative Services developed the “Light Smarter, Pay Less,” brand campaign. In 2012, Ecova won an expanded contract with the utility to implement its appliance rebate program in addition to lighting, as well as the marketing services for all retail products.



The team had two main goals for rebranding the program:

  • Refresh the program’s look and feel while seamlessly combining all the ENERGY STAR products under one umbrella.
  • Draw more attention to PPL Electric Utilities as the sponsor of instant discounts and rebates.

The Marketing Manager and Creative Services worked together to present several different options to PPL Electric Utilities. The winning option was a campaign built around the tagline, “Get Energy Smart.” This message tied back to the established lighting brand, with which most customers were familiar, while allowing for more products to be added under the “Smart” umbrella.


Central to the design was the image of a power outlet, which transformed into colorful, happy icons of energy savings. These icons came to represent each product that had the potential for energy savings—as well as discounts from PPL Electric Utilities—and were featured on point of purchase materials, educational handouts, direct mail, advertising and more. The utility’s name and logo became more prominent in the copy and design to tie the discounts back to the E-power program.

Ecova offered an even more robust solution for the retailer locator. Customers had been redirected here from PPL Electric Utilities’ corporate site to find retailers offering discounts on lighting, but now it had to also include information on appliances and rebates while retaining the easy-to-navigate format. The solution was to have different landing pages for lighting and appliances, accessible from the central “Get Energy Smart” home page. Customers now have a one-stop site to find retailers offering lighting discounts, refrigerator and water heater rebates; download rebate forms; and find program information.

  • Print + digital media
  • Project management
  • Design
  • Web design
  • Copywriting
  • Analytics, tracking + reporting
  • Print production
img_ppl_icons img_ppl_website_pages img_ppl_data_2


The rebrand really helped bring a new identity to the program, refocus customers’ attention on PPL Electric Utilities as the provider of energy-saving solutions, and increase awareness of products that help save energy and money. Customers are directed to the retailer locator from PPL Electric Utilities’ website for more information, which averages 1,000-1,100 visitors each month with a low average bounce rate of only 18%. The Retail Products program, along with other residential programs, helped PPL Electric Utilities to be named a 2015 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for program implementation and ENERGY STAR promotion.