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United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Campaign wins two thousand customers

Unit Energy Europe's Unit[e], the newest entrant to the UK's green power market, reports 2000 British customers after less than two months of trading. The UK operation of the German renewable electricity supplier was launched in late November and is one of only two companies in the UK that sells exclusively renewables power. Over 90% comes from wind, the rest being mostly small-scale hydro.

Unit[e] does not market the more controversial "renewables" such as energy from waste incineration, claiming this is not what its customers want to buy. All the output sold by the company is from renewable plant previously supported under the first two rounds of the Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) and whose NFFO contracts expired a year ago.

Unit[e] marked its UK launch with a limited amount of press advertising in three national newspapers. The company tied its full-page advertisements in the Guardian with an "advertorial." This was written by the newspaper's own staff, but overseen by Unit[e], and formed a sponsored 16 page insert on renewable energy in one of the Saturday editions and sponsorship of a section of the Guardian's website.

"Quite a lot of the initial campaign was to establish the brand and to raise awareness of it," explains Unit[e]'s Juliet Davenport. The campaign generated "hundreds" of enquiries a day, she adds. Many of these are now being translated into actual customers.

Unit[e] used different campaigns in Germany and the UK to appeal to the different national temperaments. Davenport explains that the company's UK research showed clearly that the British public would respond more favourably to a straightforward, strong and viable product that is pan-European, but does not come over as "too green." The German campaign was far more "people" and "green" oriented in its message. Unite[e] is now actively marketing its product to organisations and companies within Britain's renewable energy industry.

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