Smart Marketing: TXU Energy Free Nights

This week, our household switched electricity providers. This is something that we (stupidly) don’t do very often, because I very strongly dislike reading fine print, doing calculations, and making important decisions when I don’t have to. But, change we did, and it’s all because our new electricity provider, TXU, has made an incredibly smart marketing move.

Under our new plan, we’ll have absolutely free electricity in our home during the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. The other hours are charged at a slightly higher rate than other plans, but in a night owl house like ours, it works out to be a great deal, especially if we shift our usage of appliances like our washer and dryer, dishwasher, and pool pump to those hours. It’s appealing to us as consumers because now, electricity has been turned into a challenge: how much of our use can we shift to the late night and early hours when we don’t have to pay for it?

I’m really impressed not just by the Energy Free Nights plan’s existence, but also in the way TXU has approached this campaign. We found out about the rate plan from a TV commercial, one that aired at about 10:30 p.m.: perfect for targeting people who are clearly using electricity late at night. I also admire the way that they’ve so transparently explained why this rate plan is a win-win for both customer and provider: quite a bit of energy is generated each night, and subsequently lost when it’s not used up by customers. By encouraging energy use during these hours, TXU can make use of energy that would have otherwise been wasted.

TXU’s Energy Free Nights is a great lesson in both reaching your target market, and maximizing business resources. They’ve done a great job targeting customers that use late night electricity, while at the same time finding a way to not use resources that might otherwise go to waste. It’s an interesting way to train customers to behave in a way that benefits TXU’s business. This is something that all businesses can learn from.

It still remains to be seen how well this switch will work out for us, but I am optimistic that we’ll see not just a major savings, but a shift in the way we behave as energy consumers as we become more aware of how and when we’re using electricity. I really appreciate the steps that TXU has taken to not only spread the word about this program smartly, but also maximize a valuable business resource while training customers to do what works for their business.