Case Study: Hanover Green Power Challenge
The Town of Hanover, NH has a goal to be 20% green by 2017. Part of reaching this goal includes buying electricity from 100% renewable sources. The town had formed a committee called Sustainable Hanover to focus on these efforts. Some of the committee members knew ENH Power had a good reputation and offered a Pure Green electricity rate.
In the winter of 2015, the committee reached out to Candace Sanborn, Vice President of Provider Power, the parent of ENH Power, to ask if we could offer an even higher level of green power, Green-E certified electricity.
Green-E certified electricity is the nation’s leading independent designation by the EPA for certifying and verifying renewable energy. They also wanted the energy sources to be located largely in New England. While a competitive price was important to Sustainable Hanover, it was not the primary driver.
ENH Power had no previous experience with Green-E certified electricity, but agreed to do the research to see what it could offer. Led by our Vice President of Supply & Pricing, Neil McKellar, during the winter in 2015, ENH Power determined that it could make this happen and worked with Sustainable Hanover to determine how this program would be structured.
The chief issue was that electricity is a commodity and pricing moves relatively quickly as a result of demand, weather and other factors. Setting a specific price that Sustainable Hanover could quote to residents over a period of time would be a challenge.
Rate/Terms and Promotion
To solve this issue, ENH proposed a 6-week campaign from mid-April to May, 2015 when electricity pricing would be favorable. The group could give residents a price range, the lowest and highest potential price they would pay, based on how many residents participated – the larger the number, the lower the rate. Either way, ENH determined that the rate would be slightly less than the average rate a resident would pay over the proposed term – 16 months – had they stayed with their utility. This rate would be listed on a custom web page on ENH Power’s website that Sustainable Hanover would promote, asking people to complete a short information form indicating their intent to enroll. Sustainable Hanover liked the idea and together they crafted a roll-out plan.
ENH Power worked with Sustainable Hanover on language for the email announcements and talking points that Sustainable Hanover would use to promote the “Hanover Green Power Challenge” to residents. The committee also organized and promoted a kick-off event in early May 2015 at the local community center where ENH Power stood side by side with Sustainable Hanover, providing handouts and showing videos, to promote the program to approximately 50 residents. The committee sent out additional emails and spoke to friends, colleagues and family members.
In addition to the kick-off event, Hanover publicized the program on the town website, sent out a press-release and the committee included information on various social media channels. ENH Power created a unique landing page on their website, using real time personalizing presented information on their website to viewers of their site from specific regions of New Hampshire, and created targeted social media posts.
Through their Power to Help initiative, ENH Power also announced that they would contribute $5 for each enrollment to the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD). CHaD has been a long term non-profit partner of ENH Power.
The effort was a huge success, surpassing the group’s expectations with nearly 400 households signing up by the deadline of May 31, 2015. ENH confirmed the rate – which was on the lower end of the scale because of the high volume of participants – and Sustainable Hanover emailed residents telling them the good news. Residents then had three business days to change their mind, and one person opted out. As a result their success, Sustainable Hanover is interested in doing another Challenge in the fall of 2015, this time including small businesses.
According to Sanborn, Sustainable Hanover’s strong leadership, commitment, and excellent communication were the keys to this success. “They were an absolute pleasure to work with. I look forward to our next round!”
Media & Internet Coverage