In a bid to help Britain understand where it gets electricity from, Edelman and National Grid have this month launched the Green Light Signal - a low-energy light bulb designed to glow green when the electricity supply at home is cleanest so people can make smarter energy choices.

The launch is the first milestone in National Grid’s consumer-facing comms campaign on the road to the COP26 climate conference, of which National Grid is a Principal Partner. As one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world, National Grid plays a vital role at the heart of a clean, fair and affordable energy future.

STRATEGY & EXECUTION

Consumer research commissioned for the launch demonstrated an ‘energy awareness gap’ in people’s knowledge about the positive steps Britain has undertaken to be less reliant on fossil fuels, which in turn was a key cause of hopelessness about climate change.

Low carbon energy sources like wind, solar and nuclear currently account for an average of 55 per cent of Britain’s electricity mix, yet 42 per cent of Brits incorrectly believed that Britain only gets up to 10 per cent of its electricity from zero and low carbon energy sources. Over half of people (51%) said they would feel more hopeful if they knew the steps Britain is taking towards using more zero carbon energy.

To share the findings, the team placed interviews with John Pettigrew, CEO, NG, in the Times, I paper and Sky News. To support the earned story, we also recruited influencers and celebrity broadcaster, Helen Skelton to drive content and storytelling around the launch. Each influencer received a smart bulb to identify the Green Light Signal – a clear and articulate way to know when it’s the most efficient time to consume energy.

This is where the science comes in. The bulb will glow green when the carbon intensity of the electricity supplied in the local area is low. It uses a forecasting tool built by National Grid, WWF, University of Oxford, and the European Defence Fund. When the bulb goes green – when it’s time to charge your electric vehicle, put on a hot wash, or run your tumble dryer.

Finally, NG partnered with the new Climate Show on Sky News to show the daily energy usage across the UK powered by NG data.

BUSINESS OUTCOME

More than 100 key stakeholders, employees, MPs and media were gifted with the bulb and encouraged to spread the word, bolstered by broadcast, print and online interviews fronted by National Grid leadership and campaign talent Helen Skelton. Initial reactions to the Green Light Signal across earned and social media have been overwhelmingly positive. The campaign launched on April 20th, 2021 and is currently active. To date over 30 pieces of earned coverage have been achieved.