Four years ago, Future Energy Skills recognised that the solar industry was seriously under prepared to safely deliver on the projected increase in demand for solar batteries.
At the same time, there were growing concerns around safety risks that solar battery technology posed to the public if not properly designed, installed and maintained.
In response, Future Energy Skills brought together a Victorian Government funded industry consortium (featuring educators, union representatives, businesses and peak industry bodies) to develop and pilot a new accredited New Energy Technology Systems (NETS) course and launch a consumer campaign.
A key goal was building a skilled, stable and confident workforce able to safely assess, design and install solar batteries across Victoria.
The ground-breaking NETS project delivered a range of positive economic, environmental and social outcomes for Victorians.
Better jobs for tradespeople, solar industry growth, enhanced adoption of renewable energy, and safer solar battery design, installation and maintenance are a subset of the outcomes delivered by this project which addressed very important challenges.
Ellis Jones worked with Future Energy Skills to design and deliver an 18-month skills campaign, dubbed Know Your Battery, to grow industry and consumer awareness of battery safety, and drive consumer demand for accredited (and trained) installers.
This campaign was recently awarded the 2020 Clean Energy Council Marketing and Communications Award.
The Know Your Battery campaign
The Know Your Battery campaign, developed by Ellis Jones and Future Energy Skills, was created to increase consumer awareness of, and demand for, accredited tradespeople to install solar batteries. Designed to capture the latent demand for solar batteries among the first-mover “innovators” moving to install this new tech, the campaign asked the consumer market to seek out those with the proper training, identifiable as accredited by industry body the Clean Energy Council (CEC). At the same time, the campaign sought to generate industry awareness of the new skills training and qualification from NETS, capturing interested electricians seeking to upskill, and motivating other electricians through a demonstrated consumer demand for qualified installers.
Ellis Jones delivered this state-wide campaign, from strategic direction through to design and execution to achieve these interconnected goals. The campaign comprised:
- A strong, creative campaign concept, unifying communication and messaging
- A microsite, functioning as a content hub and providing a clear pathway to awareness and action
- A content marketing cycle, generating powerful stories and increasing reach across various channels
- Content partnerships, including with The Guardian, amplifying campaign content
- Collaboration with project partners
The Know Your Battery campaign successfully increased consumer and industry awareness of accredited tradespeople and training, empowering solar battery installers to safely undertake site assessments, and to design and install battery storage systems. At the community level, increased demand for the use of qualified, accredited tradespeople when procuring solar battery design, installation and assessment supports the decision to become accredited, and contributes to safer, more sustainable, residential housing and workplaces.
We are so proud to have worked with the ambitious, smart and entrepreneurial team at Future Energy Skills, a not-for-profit on a mission to futureproof the energy industry with the skills it needs as it transitions to a cleaner tomorrow. The NETS project is still in place, with the team finalising the development of their final educational unit on standalone power systems.
This project is a case study in shared value creation. At both sector and market levels, it had economic, social and environmental impacts by creating jobs, reducing the fire and safety risks, and ensuring battery take-up can contribute to the state’s shift to renewable energy.
Getting there required agility and resilience as the team responded to stakeholders and overcame barriers using a sophisticated co-design process.
“We are very pleased to see the work that has gone into the marketing campaign for the NETS project receiving recognition in the CEC awards. Our partnership with Ellis Jones has been very successful and achieved fantastic outcomes for the NETS project.” Alex Newman – Executive Officer, Future Energy Skills