Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate

Energy awareness campaign. How can we make the invisible, visible?

"De har vist seg fleksible og løsningsorienterte gjennom hele prosjektet vi har hatt sammen. Vi opplevde Comte som veldig ryddige allerede i anbudsprosessen Comte har stor akademisk tyngde, men er åpne i faglige diskusjoner. I gjennomførelsen av workshop om energieffektivisering i Luanda, Angola viste Comte seg svært strukturerte samtidig som de tilpasset seg utfordringer som oppsto underveis. Comte utarbeidet en kampanjeplan som var godt i samsvar med oppdraget og de innspillene som kom gjennom workshop og andre undersøkelser. I arbeidet med dette hadde de en god dialog med NVE og samarbeidspartnere i Angola." Kjetil Hillestad, Kommunikasjonsdirektør NVE

Luanda, a city with at least 12 million inhabitants, has about 600,000 paying electricity customers. However, a significantly higher number of people are using electricity in the city even though they are not paying customers. Only a small number of electricity customers have electricity meters installed, and, the vast majority of customers pay a fixed price regardless of their amount of consumption. The customers, hence, have no insight into their energy consumption, or incentives to limit their usage. Consequently, power cuts occur frequently, largely due to network overloads.

The brief: In this context, Comte Bureau was hired by NVE (Norges vassdrags- og energidirektorat) to develop and implement a campaign plan for the state owned electricity supplier in Luanda, EDEL (Empresa de Electricidade de Luanda). The goal of the project was to develop a campaign that raised awareness about energy consumption amongst EDEL–clients in Luanda. In the long run, the project aimed to increase the number of paying clients and reduce unnecessary energy consumption, nationwide.

Comte Bureau solution: Developing an energy awareness campaign in another part of the world, with vastly different cultural codes, habits, consumption patterns and media channels, gave some clear perplexities with regards to project execution.
Therefore, first of all, local presence and understanding was key in properly defining target groups and their needs. We ensured this by using our international network and established collaboration with Zwela, a local marketing and communication bureau. In addition, a research and strategy team traveled to Luanda and carried out interviews, group interviews and quantative analysis of a previous gathered survey. This starting point made sure that a deep understanding of the possible target groups was at the core of the campaign. Secondly, it was essential to create local ownership to the project with EDEL and to utilize what the knowledge company has banked over the years in the sector. We therefore carried out a 5-day workshop in Luanda with key players from EDEL. During the workshop we covered topics from target group insight to strategies for behavioral change and channels, and worked on developing ideas for possible campaign ideas.
The result from these two insight sources was translated into a detailed campaign plan, with communication concepts designed specifically for the different target groups. The concepts were based on a communication approach called nudging. A strategy with emphasis on facilitating behavioral change without putting restraints on people’s behavior or using monetary incentives.

The project has now moved on to the implementation phase, and we hope to see the campaign launch during 2015.