As part of a multi-million dollar demonstration of smart grid technology, Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) sought to understand how consumers react to smart meter-enabled demand-response pricing models. NEDO partnered with Toshiba International and the Los Alamos County Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to conduct research studies that would test various options via smart meter technology.

      Marketwave was recruited by Toshiba to conduct education, outreach and (in some cases) implementation surrounding these research studies. Specifically, Marketwave led efforts to:

      1. Educate residents about the benefits of smart meter technology
      2. Recruit participants for two separate studies
      3. Design and administer online surveys and build a custom online activity tracker
      4. Communicate with participants and facilitate their involvement
      5. Provide reports and data summarizing results

      Approach

      Marketwave’s extensive experience with smart meter technology enabled a swift roll-out of awareness messaging to facilitate a condensed timeline prior to the first study’s launch. In tandem with this informational campaign, Marketwave and DPU enhanced existing smart meter benefits messaging and invited eligible households to participate in an incentive-based research study.

      Using primarily grassroots outreach strategies, the campaign employed messaging that resonated with Los Alamos residents – high-income, highly-educated consumers with science and engineering backgrounds. Communications were delivered under the banner of the Los Alamos DPU to leverage the strong brand of the municipal utility, and included direct mail (letters and postcards), advertisements and flyers.

      Tactics included:

      • Direct mail and door-to-door campaigning
      • Small ad buys (online and in the local paper)
      • Grassroots tactics utilizing local groups and organizations to disseminate flyers
      • Promotion of the study through the DPU website as well as public relations and social media
      • Planning and staffing neighborhood meetings

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