Ontario Power Authority charges at teens

Talking wall sockets, free concerts and gift cards: a new Facebook-focused conservation campaign from OPA is targeting an age group that doesn't pay for electricity, but certainly uses it.

When left plugged in, chargers for mobile devices can account for up to 15% of a household’s electricity bill, according to the Ontario Power Authority (OPA). And although they don’t pay the electricity bill (or perhaps because they don’t), teens are the biggest consumers of what the utility calls ‘phantom power,’ the energy usage sucked away by non-active devices.

To help try and create a new, electricity-conscious ethos among Ontario’s 14 to 17-year-olds, the OPA and Draftfcb in Toronto have launched a Facebook-focused campaign targeted directly at the demo.

‘As a demographic they’re very hard to reach, but they’re very concerned about the planet that we live in and the kind of planet that we’re leaving them,’ Ben Chin, VP, communications, Ontario Power Authority tells MiC. ‘To reach them we have to speak their language and we have to speak in their venue.’

The hub of the campaign is a Facebook fan page called ‘Unplug Your Stuff,’ featuring a series of video vignettes, videogames and a pledge application. Promoted through Facebook ads, OPA hopes to reach 550,000 Ontario teens through the interactive features housed on the site.

‘Last year we engaged people of all ages with our 250,000 Acts of Conservation campaign. This year, we thought ‘let’s cater to teens specifically and get them engaged to make a difference,’ Chin explains.