Using Social Marketing to Spur Residential Adoption of ENERGY STAR®-Certified LED Lighting

Recent technological advancements in lighting have produced light bulbs that are dramatically more efficient than the traditional incandescent bulb. Yet despite these benefits, the marketplace has been slow to adopt these newer and more efficient bulbs. To help facilitate this change, the Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR program conducted a series of pilot behavior change campaigns to encourage residents to purchase and install ENERGY STAR-certified light-emitting diode (LED) lights. Campaigns were conducted with Duke Energy and Efficiency Vermont aimed at encouraging residents to purchase and install certified LED lighting in their homes. The campaigns used community- based social marketing (CBSM) as the platform for developing the overarching strategy and were developed to highlight the benefits of certified LED lights and to decrease the barriers. In Vermont, a school-based fund-raiser was used to promote certified LED bulbs, and in North Carolina, special in-store lighting events were held at Home Depot and Costco retail locations. Both programs were implemented using a control group, and quantitative outcomes were tracked. Reported results highlight the increase in sales of certified LEDs associated with the campaigns. Survey data are also reported from participants in the two campaigns, along with tests for spillover of the newly adopted behavior into other lighting purchases and behaviors. The lessons learned from these two CBSM pilots are synthesized into turnkey materials that can be adopted by other organizations looking to promote the adoption of LED lights. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Social Marketing Quarterly on June 1, 2015, available online: OR