Energy industry readies £85m campaign to promote smart meters
The energy industry is to launch a £85m five year marketing campaign to sell the benefits of smart meters in a bid to meet the Government’s aim to have the technology in every home by 2020
The Smart Meter Central Delivery Body (SMCDB), which was set up by the Government and funded by energy companies, is on the hunt for creative, media and digital agencies to create a new brand identity and positioning for smart meters. The branding will front a long-term nationwide campaign for the internet-connected meters later this year.
Energy companies will contribute to the language and themes of the campaign although it is unlikely any will actually appear in the smart meter ads.
The multi-channel effort will promote how the technology can help people cut their energy bills by paying closer attention to their usage. Other benefits such as smart meters automatically notifying suppliers when there is a power cut could also be promoted.
It will attempt to inform every household in Britain about the technology making it the biggest government-backed customer awareness campaign since the switch to digital TV in 2012.
Smart meters use a visual display allowing customers to see how much electricity and gas they are consuming and automatically relay the data to energy firms.
Energy providers including British Gas and Npower have made early attempts to promote the takeup of their own smart meter services but there is yet to be any major marketing for the technology across the sector. Suppliers have voiced concerns at hitting the 2020 target due to the extra costs they would have to pass on to consumers.
Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of SMCDB, says: “Our nationwide campaign on the benefits of smart meters will transform the relationship between UK consumers and energy companies. We’re gearing up for an innovative campaign which will capture the attention of every British consumer and put them back in the driving seat.”