Bay Area regional planning agency hires ICF for $2m energy efficiency effort

SAN FRANCISCO: ICF International has won a $2 million communications contract with the Association of Bay Area Governments to develop a two-year outreach program promoting energy efficiency in the San Francisco Bay Area.

SAN FRANCISCO: ICF International has won a $2 million communications contract with the Association of Bay Area Governments to develop a two-year outreach program promoting energy efficiency in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The regional planning agency tapped ICF to support its 2013-2014 San Francisco Bay Area Regional Network program following an RFP. The overall contract is worth more than $3.3 million, while the communications portion is valued at $2 million.

ICF SCMD, the strategic communications and marketing division of the agency, will oversee the initiative's messaging and branding, earned and paid media, strategic partnerships, community outreach and grassroots marketing, digital and social media, events, and marketing analytics.

ABAG is the regional planning agency and Council of Governments for the nine counties and 101 cities and towns in the San Francisco Bay region. With the launch of the BayREN program, ABAG wants to increase demand for energy efficiency in residences, reduce consumer energy costs, and promote healthy environments within homes.

“We want to increase awareness among customers around the issue of energy and energy usage within their homes, what they can do about it, and ultimately get them to take some action,” said Jerry Lahr, energy programs manager at ABAG.

The association is in the planning stages of the program now, with a goal of launching it to home customers by the summer. ICF is planning to build strategic partnerships with retailers, healthcare providers, and community groups; work with local counties for on-the-street outreach; and target a range of TV, radio, print, and digital media, said ICF principal Jonathan Jordan.

“What's really innovative about this program is it's opening up to more moderate-income families in helping them make choices for energy efficiency and lower energy costs in their homes. It's more flexible and gives customers more options,” he said.

ICF's San Francisco office will lead the account, with support from its creative services and media teams in Fairfax, VA.

The agency previously worked with Santa Clara County in California on an energy efficiency program, Jordan added.

This story was updated on April 12 with more information about the account budget.

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