NASEO and NEEP Facilitate Winter Heating Media Campaign in New England States

In a new fuel-neutral media campaign, the New England States are collaborating to devise consistent messaging to be used in the media to assist residents and others in regards to winter heating.  The effort was facilitated by NASEO and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP).

“Let the heat reach you,” is the theme of a new messaging campaign hitting the Northeast airwaves and print mediums this winter.  

The campaign is fuel neutral, recognizing that there are numerous energy efficiency and conservation strategies that can be employed by customers regardless if they use electricity, natural gas, heating oil, or propane.

Strategies include replacing inefficient windows. Caulking gaps and cracks around window frames — and making sure they are fully shut — will help save money. Help keep the cold out by closing dampers when you're not using the fireplace, and keep your furnace in good shape. Regularly vacuum radiators, baseboard heaters and furnace duct openings and keep them free of obstructions.

The media campaign is the result of a collaboration of New England  states and New York to devise a consistent messaging campaign that could be used in the media to assist residents and small business owners. The effort was facilitated by the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP).

Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Resources, commented that “this regionally based initiative to align our message of energy efficiency and conservation came at the right time to help our citizens.  It also enabled us to streamline outreach and messaging efforts with our local and other partners."

"Further, it gave us a framework to work within when cooperating with other state agencies who help keep our citizens warm.”

The collaborative project resulted in a tool kit provided to each state, including sample tips for residents and businesses, graphics, tweets and FB postings, and sector specific messages. The tool kit was intended to complement, not replace, state specific messages, and – where practical – achieve message alignment across the Northeast.

In one of many media “hits” resulting from this campaign, these tips appeared in the November 12, 2014 edition of the Berkshire Eagle:  “Turn down the thermostat: You can save yourself 2 to 3 percent in energy costs for every degree you lower your thermostat around the clock and lowering the heat from 72 degrees to 65 degree for eight hours a day can save you as much as 10 percent."

In the same article, these additional suggestions were offered: "Close storm windows if you have them. Make sure windows can close tightly and, if they can't, get them fixed -- this is a relatively inexpensive thing to do and quickly pays dividends. Also, check  around your the door. If you close your door and can see daylight underneath, chances are you need to replace your weather-stripping."

Sylvia reported that this kind of coverage in the Berkshire Eagle resulted directly from the regional effort to push a consistent message not only in Massachusetts but also throughout the Northeast.  “We have had numerous other stories both in print and on radio and TV. In fact, together with NASEO and NEEP, we are making an inventory of all such media ‘hits’ so that we will all have a better idea how successful the campaign was when winter is done.”