MCE aims to polish the image among young multicultural clients
San Rafael-based MCE has launched a $ 200,000 marketing campaign designed to boost its image with its multicultural, Generation Y and Generation Z customers, who make up more than half of its customers.
“Our messages (will be) around sustainability; diversity, equity and inclusion; Workforce development; eligible incentives and programs for vulnerable clients, ”Melissa Giles, MCE’s director of strategic marketing and communications, told MCE board members earlier this year.
Giles, who joined MCE this winter, has a background in consumer marketing, branding and live events and is new to the energy industry, she said.
The campaign will use social media, radio, email, direct mail and posters on buses and at bus stops. The posters feature large photos of multicultural young adults with a single title, such as “clean energy” or “energy innovation”, and the web address MCEcares.org.
In May, MCE’s Board of Directors approved a resolution affirming the Powers Joint Authority’s commitment to advancing racial equity, which “recognizes that our agency has not comprehensively addressed the considerations of racial fairness in every way possible with all past work, and understands that present and future work will need to be continually reassessed and improved.
Founded in 2010, MCE, formerly known as Marin Clean Energy, was California’s premier community aggregator of choice. Under Community Choice Aggregation legislation, California cities and counties are allowed to combine the purchasing power of their citizens to purchase electricity and thus compete with investor-owned utilities, such as PG&E.
The Authority’s main mission is to fight against global warming by promoting the use and development of energies that do not produce greenhouse gases.
MCE, which serves all of Marin, now has approximately 540,000 customers after adding the towns of Vallejo and Pleasant Hill to its membership list in April. Member cities include Walnut Creek, Vallejo and Richmond.
The marketing campaign does not announce any major new programs or services, although MCE announced an MCE Cares credit program in April that allocated $ 10 million to provide cost relief to low-income customers.
“We know customers need access to resources, and we’re excited to reach those customers with this campaign focused on fair climate action,” said Dawn Weisz, Managing Director. “Our clean energy and innovation programs can help customers save money and improve their quality of life. This is the value of community power.
Under the credit program, which is expected to last until the end of the year, eligible MCE residential customers can receive $ 10 per month credit.
To be eligible, customers must already be enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy or Family Electric Rate Assistance rebate programs, a statewide program operated by PG&E for MCE and PG&E customers.
To qualify, the total gross annual income of a family of four cannot exceed $ 53,000; to qualify for family assistance, the income of a family of four must be between $ 53,001 and $ 66,250.
MCE customers who qualify for income for CARE or FERA can also benefit from other MCE offers: a discount of $ 3,500 for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle, solar power on the roof without fee for those who do not have existing solar power, a solar rebate of $ 900 for those with existing solar power and a back-up battery for home energy storage.
Jenna Tenney, director of marketing and communications for MCE, declined to disclose how much money customers who have been unable to pay their utility bills due to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic owe her.
“We’re not really comfortable sharing that right now,” Tenney said.
PG&E spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said on Friday that at the end of February some 1.17 million residential customers owed the utility about $ 654 million.
On June 24, the California Public Utilities Commission extended until September 30 the moratorium on energy service disconnections due to unpaid bills. The moratorium, put in place in March 2020, was due to end on June 30.
The CPUC announced that it will give residential customers two years to pay deferred energy bills.