This year’s E Source Forum was a valuable industry event. The 26th Forum, September 17 – 20, attracted nearly 500 participants and energy efficiency practitioners to Denver, Colorado for three days of presentations, workshops, and networking. EcoMotion’s President, Ted Flanigan, was invited to lead a session on the power of messaging and utility partnerships.
Flanigan, a founder with Amory Lovins of E Source’s predecessor Competitek, at Rocky Mountain Institute, was pleased to be back to the Forum, commenting on the unusual blend of technical information, market insights, and casual new-Western behavior. He credits Michael Shepard and his longstanding colleagues for maintaining an appealing culture for information and exchange.
Fellow energy service practitioners hailed from utilities across the country and Canada to the Forum. Lighting has advanced in a positive way. “People never really liked CFLs.” While LEDs are now a force and huge opportunity for savings, a session on commercial LED lighting presented tales from the trenches with this form of solid state lighting, including phenomena like “popcorning.” A session on “the art and math of selling efficiency” highlighted the theme of regulated utilities responding and behaving in progressive market-based ways.
Flanigan’s “Tailoring the Message” presentation focused on three utility partnership programs in California and their results, tapping the power and synergy of creative program design and targeted communications, for groups of customers from facility operators in San Francisco to parishioners, tribal elders, and elected officials in the Coachella Valley.
Flanigan and E Source session host Katie Ruiz then divided the audience into five customer types, seniors, students, chambers, “sinks and dinks”, and recent immigrants. They then sequentially presented five scenarios from nuclear calamity to excess capacity for which each group had to develop effective energy efficiency program marketing language for that specific market segment.