State’s €10m save energy ad campaign failed to have any impact

Power of One advertisements had no effect on behaviour

 Noel Dempsey:  assured the nation it wasn’t just window dressing aimed at appeasing energy watchdogs in the European Commission.

Noel Dempsey: assured the nation it wasn’t just window dressing aimed at appeasing energy watchdogs in the European Commission.

 

The ads encouraged us to save money and energy by turning our heating down and wearing an extra warm woolly jumper.

But despite costing us €10.75 million over two years starting in 2006, the State-sponsored Power of One campaign appears to have had absolutely no effect on our behaviour, a new ESRI report has revealed.

The campaign was launched in a blaze of publicity by then minister for communications, marine and natural resources Noel Dempsey in 2006.

He assured the nation it wasn’t just window dressing aimed at appeasing energy watchdogs in the European Commission and he expressed the hope that it would achieve a “sea change” in the behaviour of Irish consumers in relation to their use of energy. It didn’t.

Swamped with ads
For the duration of the campaign, the airwaves were swamped with ads reminding us of all the financial and environmental benefits if we just switched off lights, turned televisions off at the source and did not leave mobile phone chargers plugged in.

However, the ESRI has now found that while the campaign “increased consumers’ awareness of the potential savings” it did not “translate into persistent changes in behaviour”.

The ESRI says in the first year of the campaign, fliers included with customers’ gas bills made people more aware of possible savings, “no further effects were identified for the second year of the campaign”.

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