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Utilising communications to drive consumer demand for GreenPower

Rodgers, David (2012) Utilising communications to drive consumer demand for GreenPower. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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The Australian renewable energy industry represents an opportunity for Australia to move away from a reliance on fossil fuels and harness clean and secure energy for the future. The GreenPower initiative has been implemented to help facilitate the growth of this industry, by providing consumers with the option to pay a premium for electricity generated by renewable sources. This initiative gives customers a degree of control over the development of renewable generated electricity capacity, which can be encouraged by both governments and energy utilities for mutual benefit.

Governments and energy utilities have a vested interest in the growth of this industry, whether to ensure emission reduction commitments are met, adhere to mandatory renewable energy targets (MRET) or to use as a source of potential competitive advantage. These interests can be realised through increasing consumer demand for GreenPower which can be achieved through targeted communications campaigns.

Those consumers with the greatest propensity to purchase GreenPower have been identified to hold pro-environmental views and altruistic attitudes. This audience could be targeted through communications which utilise the elements of behavioural economics; social influence and choice architecture. Furthermore this communications approach could be extended to leverage the uptake of existing customers to increase demand and uptake amongst a wider audience.

This strategy is not proposed as a replacement for existing policy mechanisms such as the MRET or the carbon tax, but rather as an additional measure which could be successfully implemented by governments and/or energy utilities in a cost effective manner. The ability of communications to increase consumer demand for GreenPower is supported by academic literature and it is believed is an important step in helping this initiative realise its full potential.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Energy
Supervisor: Hodgson, Nicole
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