Step Up and Power Down®

Step Up and Power Down®

Step Up and Power Down® initiatives (2014 to 2017) Pacific Gas and Electric Company

These multi-year, multi-city community-based social marketing (CBSM) initiatives were designed to reduce energy waste in homes and commercial buildings. The programs identified energy-saving behaviors for residents (in their homes) and building managers, company leaders, and individual employees (in commercial buildings).

Campaigns encouraged people to perform behaviors that result in lower energy use in homes and businesses. The program was designed using baseline research, observations, and focus groups to identify energy-wasting behaviors that would be addressed. The outreach messaging used social diffusion as a key strategy, and program teams worked closely with community groups and business associations to get the word out about the program. Campaigns used public commitment as a key strategy for engaging participants.

Some of the services performed by Empower Efficiency included: program design and advisory services; behavioral and social science consultation; community selection; outreach to residents and commercial customers; implementation of behavioral audits and engagement campaigns; program tracking and reporting; and more.

The commercial initiative was implemented in San Francisco and San Jose, where participating companies exceeded program goals by achieving energy savings of 23.5 gigawatt-hours and 27.6 gigawatt-hours respectively – enough energy to power 5,200 homes for one year. Program leaders and participants alike cited an increase in overall engagement and collaboration as one of the outcomes that will carry on beyond the program’s lifespan.

The residential initiative was implemented in Redwood City, San Carlos and Woodland, and surpassed their goals with the following results:

  • Redwood City: 750+ participating households
  • San Carlos: 760 participating households (surpassed goal by nearly 200 households)
  • Woodland: 1,600+ participating households (surpassed goal by more than 1,200 households)

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