WASHINGTON: The Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco), DC's predominant supplier of electricity, is searching for an agency to lead a $3.5 million, two-year campaign to help Washington residents make informed choices in a newly deregulated energy market.
The RFP, distributed to hundreds of PR and advertising firms this month, outlines an integrated campaign capable of reaching a diverse target audience. Every residential and commercial customer should be reached, including low-income families, the illiterate, and those for whom English may be a second language.
Pepco has approximately 200,000 residential customers and 26,000 small commercial customers in the area.
Proposals were due last week. According to a Pepco spokesperson, about a dozen were received, and no more are being accepted. A winner is expected to be announced by the spring.
Suggested tactics for the campaign include town-hall meetings, partnerships with community-based nonprofits, an informational hotline, a website, and radio and broadcast PSAs. Built into the RFP are measurement requirements that would gauge pre- and post-campaign awareness of the market changes.
The campaign itself was mandated by Congress in the 1999 act deregulating the Washington electricity market. "The delivery of clear, concise, and unbiased information is critical to the successful transition to a fully competitive market," reads the RFP. "Such information will provide customers with an understanding of how to participate effectively in and benefit from the competitive electric-supply market."