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Smart Energy GB publishes new white paper: Principles for public engagement in today’s Britain

23rd February 2017

Smart Energy GB, the voice of Britain’s smart meter rollout, has published a new white paper bringing together learning and insight for public engagement campaigns that are seeking to engage not only mainstream audiences, but also those with vulnerabilities who may be harder to reach. The paper sets out a new set of principles and a strategic model for public engagement campaigns to consider – drawing on the campaigns that have inspired and informed its work.

Smart Energy GB is undertaking the most challenging and complex behaviour change campaign of this generation. Working in a low interest category – energy, and in particular, energy meters – it must reach every household in the country to persuade consumers to upgrade to a smart meter, and to use the new technology to get their gas and electricity under control.

In meeting this task, Smart Energy GB has drawn on the experiences and achievements of campaigning organisations such as Digital UK, Change4Life and Public Health England. This new report, Principles for engagement in today’s Britain, examines:

  • How public engagement campaigns can extend their impact beyond that of mainstream commercial marketing campaigns
  • How brands can identify and define their vulnerable or harder-to-reach audiences
  • Examples and solutions for the challenge of extending mainstream campaigns to reach vulnerable audiences. Including how to develop creative vehicles that cross boundaries
  • Choosing the right channels to reach audiences. Including identifying what non-traditional channels will get messages to the right people
  • Finding the right partners to amplify messages and extend reach
  • Measuring the success of campaigns targeted at vulnerable audiences

Sacha Deshmukh, Chief Executive of Smart Energy GB, said: “Smart Energy GB has been lucky enough to learn from other inspirational campaigns – and we’d also like to make our own contribution to the body of professional knowledge on how to engage the entirety of such a diverse nation as Britain. I hope our white paper will help those working on public engagement campaigns to use the challenge of the need to reach diverse audiences as an asset to their campaign.

“We’re proud that our own campaign has resonated beyond the mainstream already: our research shows that several groups defined as having traditional vulnerabilities - including those in fuel poverty and households where someone has a disability - have a higher than average level of detailed understanding about smart meters.

“I hope that Principles for public engagement in today’s Britain will provide useful and practical advice for public campaigns seeking to engage not only mainstream audiences, but also those who may face barriers to engagement with traditional advertising campaigns.”

Principles for public engagement in today’s Britain is available to download here

-ENDS-

Notes to editors

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the voice of the smart meter rollout. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to get their gas and electricity under control. Our national campaign has already begun and will reach all households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. 

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.

Almost 5 million smart meters have already been installed in homes and microbusinesses, and between now and 2020 every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no additional cost. Contact your energy supplier today about installing your smart meter.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Smart Energy GB:

Janqui Mehta: [email protected]; 0203 019 1063/07715 665 112