The Rise of Clean Energy in Connecticut Jonathan Edwards SmartPower May 16, 2006 SmartPower is a non-profit marketing campaign on clean energy; Funded by 5 private foundations (Pew, Rockefeller, etc.) and various state clean energy funds (Connecticut, Pennsylvania, etc.);
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May 16, 2006
Funded by 5 private foundations (Pew, Rockefeller, etc.) and various state clean energy funds (Connecticut, Pennsylvania, etc.);
We are the “Dairy Council” on clean energy;
Created model operation in Connecticut, grew regionally, now growing nationally;Background on SmartPower
We identified “language” as the first barrier -- we confuse the consumer by calling our product a variety of things:
AlternativeResearch Review: Creating the Message
Which term best describes electricity generated by sources such as wind, solar and water?
We wanted to understand what are the most powerful emotional hooks we could use to make clean energy important and desirable to the American public;
The Obituary: The best way to find out how someone feels about something is to take it away from them. Thus, we asked them to write an obituary for fossil fuels.Research Review: Creating the Message
Fossil Fuel died after a long, slow illness called greed. Fossil has left the family of the Middle Eastern nations and former President George W. Bush and his cabinet members.
Currently, the world is adjusting from heating by oil and illuminating by electricity to solar and wind mill sources. There are several kinks to be worked out and roadblocks to conquer.
Will we ever be warm again? Miss you fossil fuel.
— Massachusetts Opinion Leader
“It is with great sadness and regret that we announce the demise of fossil fuel. After hundreds of years of supplying the population of earth, the resource had been depleted.
It will be remembered for the warmth, comfort and pleasure it provided to living things. There will be a great void that needs to be filled perhaps through wind and solar power.
It will be sorely missed by all beings that depended on it to warm them, supply their transportation, power their equipment and support all the resources necessary for a safe and comfortable life.”
- Connecticut Opinion Leader
People were far less critical of fossil fuels than we might have imagined. It keeps them warm; it keeps the lights on;
Using clean energy means huge trade offs -- and it’s very inconvenient. Also -- is it as strong as what coal and oil?
While they recognize the problems of pollution, they see fossil fuels as a “necessary evil” -- it can be relied on to power our world.Research Review: What does it all mean?
“It’s more concept than product. I don’t see it in real life. I don’t see it on television.”
“I know it’s good for the environment, I know it’s good for health. But quite frankly, I just don’t think it works.”The Crux Of The Matter: clean energy isn’t seen as ready
Through intense consumer market research in 2004, we identified that the American consumer encounters three barriers when purchasing clean energy:
Reliability -- does it work?
Availability -- Where/how do I buy it?
Cost -- why pay more for a product that doesn’t work?
We created a marketing campaign that speaks to the consumer about the first barrier:
It’s Real. It’s here. It’s working. Let’s Make More!
Our challenge to municipalities,
businesses and institutions to obtain 20% of their electricity from clean, renewable sources by the year 2010
SmartPower had been seeing some success with town purchases through our 20% by 2010 Campaign.
The CCEF asked us to “partner” with them by making our 20% by 2010 Campaign a piece of their Clean Energy Communities Program
The Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program
A town/municipality commits to the SmartPower 20% by 2010 Campaign;
A town/municipality gets 100 residents to sign up for the residential clean energy program (CT Clean Energy Options -- managed by the CT DPUC);
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund gives the town/municipality a Solar System.The Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program
2. Sign up local customers to the CT Clean Energy Options program
The “give away” of the Solar PV is an offshoot of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s Solar Project
And throughout the Campaign SmartPower continues its media and messaging campaign -- using radio, television, newspapers ads, etc. to highlight the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s Clean Energy Communities Program!The Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program
Within 12 months 25 towns committed to purchasing 20% clean energy by 2010. These are large, long-term customers for the clean energy suppliers! (Hartford, Stamford, etc.)
Ten of these communities have signed up the required one hundred customers; (These are largely residential customers -- helping to make CT Clean Energy Options extremely successful in its first 12 months!)
Several more communities are within striking distance of getting their hundred customers
Solar arrays are being installed now -- the first one during “Clean Energy Week” (Earth Day, 2006)The Connecticut Clean Energy Communities Program
It’s a wonderful “local” story which the local papers devour!
Multiple occasions for newspaper stories -- the commitment to 20% by 2010; the 100th customers; the installation, etc. etc.
It’s created true community pride;
Several mayors/town leaders have struck up friendly bets with “rival” communities to see which town can get the most residential consumers signed up!
It supports multiple programs, agencies and NGOs and has created a strong collaboration among all;
The “politics” of the program are unbeatable. Every mayor, City Councilor, selectman want to be seen as “clean”;
It proves to the average consumer that clean energy is real. It’s here. And it’s working.The Benefits of the Program are Tremendous:
Putting New Energy into Clean Power
Connecticut Lights the Way for Clean Energy
West Hartford, city wager on clean energy usage
Mayors pitch switch to clean energy
Buying Cleaner Energy
Few People Realize the Potential
City getting ‘clean’
RESIDENTS URGED TO JOIN TOWN’S
20% CLEAN ENERGY BY 2010 CAMPAIGN
Town to Receive Free Solar Arrays for Every 100 Resident Sign ups
Chief Operating Officer
100 Pearl Street – 14th Floor
Hartford, CT 06103