Mei Shibata, of The Energy Agency, explains a better way to define kWh for consumers, an old-fashioned technique we all used in school.
“We don’t sell five bags of electricity to customers,” said a utility executive during a website planning meeting a few weeks ago, expressing frustration that it is often difficult to convey the value of electricity. Yes, indeed.
So it made me think. Remember mnemonics from school? Like Roy G. Biv for the colors of the rainbow, or Every Good Boy Does Fine in music? Well, here’s one for our very own kWh to remind us of the tremendous value that electricity brings.
K is for Komfort
Much of our utility bill goes towards staying warm in the winter or cool in the summer, and for providing us with daily comforts such as keeping food fresh in the fridge. That makes komfort not just a word for Germans, Norwegians, Czechs and Poles, but a very kool part of our mnemonic. K?
W is for Workmanship
Someone at the US Embassy in Tokyo once told me that the Japanese are proud of their electric utilities because their high power quality enables companies like Toyota to make world-class products. While I don’t think that we have the same level of pride in the US yet, the same value proposition exists. Our individual output and work quality each day would not be the same without electricity. Far from it, actually. And as more things become digitized, our GDP is more tethered to the grid.
And H is for Happiness
Whether it’s playing games on a Xbox or FaceTiming with grand kids across the country, electricity gives us the ability to connect with friends and family. It lets us laugh, cry, and be appreciative of the time we share together. So I challenge MasterCard when they say, “there are some things money can’t buy,” because most of those priceless moments that they refer to wouldn’t happen in the first place if it weren’t for electricity. And we surely buy electricity, even if not by the bagful.
So there it is: by delivering kWh to our customers, we deliver komfort, workmanship and happiness, in a way that no other product or service can. That’s the irreplaceable value that electricity brings, which everyone takes for granted today. Even MasterCard overlooked it in their award-winning priceless campaign.
Now if someone musical could come up with a jingle to go with the kWh mnemonic, I’m all ears.
Mei Shibata is CEO of The Energy Agency.