Next in a series on winning entries from the Del Oro Awards 2010
La Plata – Community Relations entry
As the nation’s largest municipally owned natural gas and electric utility with 707,000 electric customers and 322,000 natural gas customers, CPS Energy needed to lower the cost of operating their rebate program and increase community awareness of the value of saving money while saving energy through rebates.
The Million Bulb Challenge campaign improved an existing compact fluorescent light (CFL) rebate program and presented the community with a clear goal – to distribute and rebate 1 million CFLs in 2009. Partnering with HEB and Home Depot would lower rebate costs through providing customers instant rebates and also helped overcome price barriers to the bulbs. A successful campaign would save more than 30 million kilowatt-hours and eliminate 4.4 million pounds of carbon-dioxide emissions.
CPS Energy publicized the program through its Energy Connection newsletter and held community events throughout the year to educate consumers on the cost-saving benefits of CFLs. A press conference in May, beginning the time of highest energy-use, gave a big push for awareness. By October, CPS Energy met its goal of distributing one million CFL bulbs and by the end of 2009 had distributed 1.6 million. It also exceeded its energy demand reduction target by 3.87 MW (saving a total of 38+ million KWH of electricity).
CPS Energy team members saved campaign pieces throughout the year with the idea of submitting an award entry, making the award process very simple. Not only were they able to raise the awareness of CFLs and energy savings but they were also able to publicize and reinforce the campaign’s excellent results with the Del Oro La Plata award recognition!
By Paige Ramsey-Palmer, APR, Corporate Communications Officer for San Antonio Credit Union and a board member of PRSA San Antonio.