In the utility industry, we find ourselves constantly at the crossroads of a rapidly changing energy landscape. The advent of beneficial electrification, for one, has put natural gas suppliers on their heels. The electric utility industry is touting the trend of reduced CO2 emissions per MWh from electric power generation over the last decade. Plus, the electric industry is promoting the lack of site emissions from wind and solar power and raising questions over natural gas leaks in the pipeline infrastructure.

With all that being said, natural gas plays a significant role in the global energy landscape. As one of the primary sources of energy, it is widely used in commercial buildings and for electricity generation. So, how should suppliers respond to customer concerns about the environmental impact of natural gas?

Understanding Natural Gas

To begin the conversation, “What is the Environmental Impact of Natural Gas,” the case first needs to be made based on a level playing field. This means understanding what natural gas really is and comparing emissions from source energy, not site energy.

What is natural gas?

As a hydrocarbon gas mixture, natural gas primarily comprises methane and ethane. The dominant component, methane (CH4), is a colorless, odorless gas, giving natural gas its characteristic properties. These attributes allow for natural gas to be conveniently stored and efficiently transported through pipelines, making it a readily available source of energy.

Despite these benefits, the use of natural gas carries significant environmental implications. It contributes to climate change, air pollution and water pollution. Methane, being the main component of natural gas, is a potent greenhouse gas. When released into the atmosphere, it plays a substantial role in accelerating global warming.

To supply an electron of electricity to our homes or businesses, a coal-fired power plant has to mine and burn coal, produce steam, turn a generator and then deliver the electricity over a relatively long distance through a transmission and distribution (T&D) infrastructure. Similarly, shale gas for a gas-fired turbine generator must be extracted from the ground by a drilling or fracking process, transported to the power plant, and combusted in the turbine to produce electricity. This electricity must also be delivered through T&D infrastructure to homes and businesses.

What is the carbon impact of natural gas?

Carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, is often associated with global warming. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), only 30% of CO2 emissions in the U.S. came from the production of electric power in 2019, compared to 35% from transportation. But let’s compare electric power generation emissions from coal plants versus combined cycle natural gas-fired turbine generators (CCGT) on a source CO2 equivalent (CO2e) basis.

The CCGT generates electricity directly from the turbine and subsequently from the turbine exhaust, which is used to make steam that powers a steam turbine generator. To properly compare, we will need to account for upstream CO2 and methane emissions from mining, drilling and processing as well as natural gas leaks and emissions from the combustion processes. A recent study by Stanford University estimated that CO2e emissions from a coal plant are twice that of a CCGT gas-fired plant for the same output (g/kWh) over a 20-year lifecycle. Reduced CO2 emissions per MWh from overall electric power generation is primarily due to natural gas replacing coal.

In addition, coal-fired plants (19% of all sources, the same as renewables) emit much more nitrous oxides (NOx) compared to gas-fired plants and copious amounts of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and particulate matter (PM) as well. NOx is nearly 300 times more powerful than CO2 and 12 times more powerful than methane at trapping heat in the atmosphere. SO2 is a toxic irritant to our lungs and forms acid rain. PM also causes respiratory problems.

The same EPA data also shows that total methane (CH4) emissions from enteric fermentation (cow digestive systems) is greater than either natural gas systems or landfills. Although methane emissions have 25 times the effect on global warming as CO2, they represent only 10% of total source greenhouse emissions (CO2, methane, N2O, HFCs, PFCs and SF6), compared to 80% for CO2.

Strategies for Effective Customer Communications about Natural Gas

Customers look to their energy provider for guidance and expertise. This is why it’s important to communicate both the benefits and potential drawbacks of the environmental impact of natural gas. Transparency in this regard not only fosters continued trust and loyalty but also equips customers with the knowledge they need to make well-informed decisions about their energy consumption.

Effective communication starts at the grassroots level: educating customers about natural gas, its properties and its environmental impacts. This education can take various forms, such as informative newsletters, educational webinars or interactive content pieces.

Example of educational content to show what is the environmental impact of natural gas

Building on this foundation of education, your utility can further enhance its communications. By presenting information about their natural gas usage in a clear and understandable format, you can show customers the direct impact of their energy consumption.

This could involve sharing data about how much natural gas they are using, the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, and potential ways to reduce their footprint. Such an approach not only reinforces transparency but also encourages customers to take proactive steps toward a more sustainable lifestyle. The Ohio Consumers Counsel has put together an entire natural gas guide to help customers better understand their usage and how to read their bills.

Example of fact sheet that explains the environmental impact of natural gas to consumers

Moreover, highlighting real-world examples of businesses or households that have successfully reduced their natural gas usage and environmental impact can serve as potent motivators. These success stories, backed by industry expertise, can inspire other customers to follow suit. In addition, energy utilities can play a pivotal role in facilitating this change by offering programs that promote energy efficiency, such as rebates for energy-efficient appliances or incentives for switching to renewable energy sources.

As concern for the environment continues to grow, customers want to know, “What is the environmental impact of natural gas?”  Through these concerted efforts, you can transform the way customers perceive and use energy.

Assisting Customers in Reducing Their Environmental Impact

Customers who use natural gas don’t need to be afraid of doing so. Rather, they just need to be better educated about the impacts of natural gas and what they can do to offset those negative effects. 

Natural gas is actually the cleanest-burning fossil fuel, so it’s an ideal complement to solar and wind for power generation. Also, since the demand for raw materials for solar panels may drive the prices up, natural gas is still very competitive with renewables. And natural gas-fired power generation is needed to compensate for the intermittent operation of renewables. In addition, both biogas derived from organic materials and renewable natural gas (RNG) are environmentally friendly renewable fuels used to generate electric power.

The use of natural gas in its various forms can have important environmental benefits compared to the alternatives. Educating your energy utility’s customers about the environmental impact of natural gas consumption compared to other fossil fuels and renewable energy can help them better understand the benefits of natural gas.

Further, by promoting programs that encourage energy efficiency, offering rebates for energy-efficient appliances or providing incentives for customers who switch to renewable energy sources, your utility can encourage customers to live more efficient lifestyles.

Effectively communicating the environmental impact of natural gas usage is more than just a responsibility — it’s an opportunity for energy utilities to drive change. By taking a proactive approach to customer communication, we can empower our customers to make informed decisions, promote energy conservation and contribute to building a sustainable future.

Educate customers about the environmental impact of natural gas with a digital engagement strategy from Questline Digital.

Beneficial electrification has become a popular marketing theme among energy utilities and cooperatives, but the concept is still unfamiliar to many customers. Don’t let that get in the way of communicating this powerful message about the benefits of electrification. The term may be a mouthful, but beneficial electrification can improve customers’ lives in a variety of ways.

To fully communicate the benefits of electrification, energy utilities must answer their customers’ questions, which can range from the most basic definition of beneficial electrification to how they can electrify their homes and businesses once they determine it’s a good fit for them.

Here we break down the most common questions and how you can better equip both residential and business customers with the knowledge they need to make smarter energy choices.

What is Beneficial Electrification?

Beneficial electrification is the process of replacing the direct use of fossil fuels with electricity to reduce overall emissions and energy costs. When consumers switch to electricity — such as replacing a heating oil furnace with an electric heat pump or switching from a gasoline-powered car to an electric vehicle — they benefit through cost savings, convenience and a cleaner environment.

Utilities should make the benefits of electrification clear to customers with regular reminders and marketing campaigns. But remember, your customers likely do not know what beneficial electrification means. You may want to use more relatable phrases in your messaging to capture their attention.

Chart listing ways to communicate the benefits of electrification with utility customers

Beneficial electrification is more than fuel switching. Fuel switching is a short-term solution, where beneficial electrification is a long-term approach to replacing fossil fuels. A good way to determine if an initiative meets beneficial electrification standards is to consider the following conditions:  

For customers, think about: 

  • Does it save them money?
  • Is it good for the environment?
  • Does it improve their quality of life?

When it comes to your utility, think:

  • Does it improve the reliability or efficiency of the grid?

It will meet beneficial electrification standards if it can satisfy one of these conditions without adversely affecting the others.

What Can Be Electrified?

Beneficial electrification is most often applied to transportation, space heating, cooking and water heating. For utilities and co-ops, this is where content marketing can help connect the dots.

For residential customers, it’s essential to illustrate the switch to electric vehicles, electric lawnmowers, heat pumps, induction stovetops and other residential appliances. For commercial customers, facility electrification such as process technologies, electric forklifts and other equipment are more relevant.

How Does Beneficial Electrification Save Money?

Electrifying systems, devices and more can help utility customers lower their energy bills. While electrification will typically result in higher electric bills, significant savings can be achieved elsewhere, such as customers’ vehicle fuel bills. “Reducing energy spend” may be a more accurate phrase to describe the overall financial benefits of electrification.

However, the cost of electricity itself is a barrier. For example, potential EV purchasers may have the perception that gas is cheaper, which is true in some cases. They need to get past the cost of a gallon of gas (or a kilowatt-hour) to see how electric vehicles are much more efficient than internal combustion engines overall, not to mention that EVs come with lower maintenance costs. EV owners will save about $1,000 per year on fuel, with total cost-of-ownership savings of up to $10,000 over the life of an EV.

Share helpful content that gives your customers step-by-step suggestions to electrify their homes and businesses. Getting valuable advice from a trusted source can make them feel more comfortable and confident as they begin the long electrification process.

Does Beneficial Electrification Help the Environment?

Electricity gets cleaner every day, with more of the nation’s supply being generated from renewable sources. For example, carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour from electric power generation decreased 36% from 2005 to 2021. By driving the transition away from fossil fuels, beneficial electrification is having a major impact on the environment.

EVs are a great example of beneficial electrification. Electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions and reduce well-to-wheels emissions by at least 20%. Electric power generated by renewables adds to that advantage — ultimately up to 100% reduction in carbon emissions.

Aren’t Fossil Fuels Used to Generate Electricity?

A big point of confusion in the conversation about electrification surrounds the idea of what it means to truly “go green.” Although we are slowly transitioning to clean, renewable power generation, fossil fuels are still burned to produce electricity. So, although they’re “going electric,” some customers are concerned that it may not be enough — or even “count” — if it still requires the use of harmful fossil fuels.

However, beneficial electrification doesn’t require that 100% of their electricity come from clean energy sources. New electric-powered equipment and appliances are much more energy-efficient than the devices they replace.

Heat pump efficiency has risen from 10 SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) to close to 20 SEER — that’s 500% efficient! — for cooling, and from 6 HSPF (heating seasonal performance factor) to 10 FSPF — 250% efficient! — for heating in a couple of decades. Natural gas furnaces are 92% efficient.

In the short term, the consumer is reducing their overall energy use by upgrading to a new electric appliance; in the long term, that electricity will come from increasingly green sources.

What Are the Benefits of Electrification?

There are many benefits to electrification, ranging from helping residential customers save energy to supporting a cleaner, more resilient grid for their community. Other benefits of electrification include:

  • Reduced emissions
  • Grid-connected appliances and systems
  • Increased efficiency
  • Reduced likelihood of power outages
  • Decreased maintenance costs
  • Reduced operating costs
  • Minimal interruptions with energy storage

There are also application-specific benefits of electrification, including:

  • Induction cooktops heat food more quickly
  • Electric vehicles lower the operating costs of fleets
  • Heat pumps are quieter, more efficient and require less maintenance
  • Smart technology can make life easier by connecting devices
  • Electric lawn tools don’t require potentially dangerous fuel storage

Communicating the benefits of electrification to your customers with specific examples shows them how beneficial electrification can impact and improve their daily lives.

What Are the Barriers to Electrification?

Though the expected benefits may be enough to get your customers intrigued, there are a few barriers to beneficial electrification residential and business customers may encounter, including:

  • The low cost of natural gas
  • Range anxiety for electric vehicles
  • Increased capital cost for electric equipment
  • Lack of customer awareness of alternative electric technologies
  • Lack of trained installers and repair technicians for advanced technologies like variable-refrigerant flow HVAC and heat pump water heaters
  • Misconceptions that industrial equipment like electric forklifts are underpowered and batteries cannot last a full shift
  • Safety concerns for electric lift trucks in wet weather conditions

Despite these hurdles, beneficial electrification can save customers money, reduce emissions and improve quality of life, all without negatively impacting the grid.

With these benefits in mind, it’s clear that customers are going to become more interested in beneficial electrification options and will look to their utility as a resource for better managing their energy use. That’s why it’s imperative to be ready with content and answers to any questions they may have as they begin their electrification journey.

How do you communicate the benefits of electrification to customers? Learn how to power your campaigns with a Content Marketing Strategy from Questline Digital.

As solar and other renewables become more affordable, many of the electric power consumers of yesterday are now active energy consumers and producers, or energy prosumers.

These utility customers invest in and install rooftop solar panels to generate the electricity they need and feed the excess electricity they produce back to the grid in exchange for credits or reductions to their energy bills.

Many households are also looking to battery electric vehicles and home battery storage systems that can be combined with solar panels to power their homes during outages. Some utilities, like PG&E in California, offer financial incentives to customers that install battery storage systems.

As electric consumption by U.S. households continues to climb, these energy prosumers will be a growing segment of a utility’s customer base. With approximately 4% of U.S. homes generating electricity from small-scale solar arrays, they already account for nearly one-third of all solar energy produced in the U.S. The International Energy Agency estimates that approximately 100 million households will rely on rooftop solar by 2030.

What is an Energy Prosumer?

An energy prosumer is a utility customer who generates their own power. For residential customers, this typically includes rooftop solar panels and home battery storage. Business customers may use larger-scale distributed energy resources (DERs), such as wind generation, solar arrays and battery storage.

Prosumers may sell their excess power back to the grid, becoming energy producers as well as consumers.

Building Relationships with Energy Prosumers

Energy prosumers are quickly changing the way utilities do business. Now that more and more customers are engaging with power production, these active customers will play a significant role as more renewable energy flows to the grid.

Utilities will be well served by educating and empowering these essential players, working with them as allies in meeting several mutually beneficial objectives:

  • Meet renewable energy mandates. With many states now requiring utilities to generate a specific percentage of their power from renewable sources, utilities are encouraging their energy-supplying customers to help them meet their net zero goals. In those states, many utilities offer customers a solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) with rooftop solar systems for each megawatt-hour of electricity they generate. Homeowners can use these SRECs to generate income.
  • Support solar investments. To encourage the adoption of solar, some utilities offer upfront rebates for installing solar panel systems that can, on average, reduce the cost of the system by as much as 20%.
  • Build trust. Utilities are building portals that provide their most active customers with straightforward and comprehensive access to information about installing solar systems or designing microgrids, assistance connecting their systems to the grid, access to the real-time grid and market data, and more. This encourages them to rely on the utility as a trusted energy partner.
  • Offer incentives. Forward-thinking utilities like Consumers Energy offer bill credits to energy prosumers for the extra energy they produce and discounts on the electricity they purchase. Utilities can also support their prosumer partners by providing discounts on maintenance and installation of solar equipment or technical support and educational services.

Building the utility-prosumer relationship benefits everyone. Customers are happier with lower bills and a reliable power supply during outages, while utilities can make progress toward their sustainability and customer satisfaction goals.

Marketing Tools to Encourage More Energy Prosumers

With the promise of a mutually beneficial relationship, why don’t all consumers become prosumers? It comes down to awareness, education, access and cost.

Awareness and Education

Many customers still don’t know they can return energy to the grid and get paid. Or that they can store power in batteries for future use. And if they do, many need help knowing where to get started.

For example, Super Bowl ads that showcased a Ford F-150 Lightning powering a home during an outage caught the attention of many customers previously uninterested in EVs. They were introduced to the idea of bidirectional charging but were left asking questions about its feasibility.

These newly interested customers need information on equipment, installation and safety. While the idea of sending energy back and forth might sound relatively simple, it’s a complex power conversion process that requires special chargers and careful installation.

Utilities can stand out in today’s crowded landscape with content — like email promotions, landing pages, checklists, blog posts and videos — that educate customers about the benefits of becoming a producer of renewable energy and guides them on how to get started.

Access and Cost

Even if an energy customer knows they want to become a prosumer, there are still hurdles to getting started. Finding reputable installers can be intimidating and the cost can feel out of reach.

For example, the Ford Charge Station Pro carries a price tag of $1,310, not to mention the F-150 Lightning vehicle, which ranges between $55,000 and $97,000.

Solar power storage systems aren’t cheap, either. Batteries can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $22,000.

Previously mentioned portals, incentives and rebates can make all the difference. Utilities that provide easy-to-access resources, like PSEG Long Island’s contractor list or PG&E’s incentive site, allow customers to act independently. Many customers want their utility to be a knowledgeable resource but still want to make home improvements on their own.

Opportunities to Grow with Energy Prosumers

The increasingly important role that energy prosumers play creates new opportunities for utilities to add value to their services and ramp up their efforts to ensure a resilient power grid. By using digital marketing tools and educational content to communicate with customers, the beneficial segment of prosumers can continue to grow.

Learn how a customer engagement strategy from Questline Digital can help build strong relationships with energy prosumers.

Your customers want to save energy; they just might not know how. By educating customers about energy waste and showing them how they can save, your energy utility can help customers take advantage of energy-saving programs and products. More than ever, there is a growing need for energy efficiency education.

Many customers don’t realize the strong impact that making energy-efficient choices has on both a person’s daily life and their community. According to, “Energy efficiency is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to combat climate change, reduce energy costs for consumers, and improve the competitiveness of U.S. businesses.” Energy efficiency is also a very important component in achieving net-zero emissions.

By increasing energy efficiency education, customers will have a better understanding of how their energy-efficient choices can:

  • Save money
  • Increase the resilience and reliability of the electric grid
  • Provide environmental, community and health benefits

Energy Efficiency Education for Customers

The first step to converting customers is educating them. Think about who your utility is trying to reach and what their interests and needs are. For example, residential and business customers are very different. What resonates with one doesn’t necessarily resonate with the other.

Business customers, for example, care about reducing energy usage and operating costs while keeping productivity high. Residential customers, on the other hand, may care more about simple, effective ways to reduce their home energy bills without sacrificing comfort. Consider segmenting your communications so you can reach different customers with different energy efficiency campaign messages.

Energy Efficiency Education Examples

Energy efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult for customers. Duke Energy offers free home energy assessments where an energy professional will visit a home and perform a walk-through. They will then give the customer a detailed report showcasing how their home could be more energy efficient and ways they can lower their energy bill.

Example of assessment used to promote energy efficiency education

PSEG Long Island offers an online home energy analyzer that is free for customers to use. It’s similar to a home walk-through, but instead, customers can input information about their home themselves and have their energy efficiency calculated immediately. They can also reuse the analyzer multiple times to test changes to their home and see the results. In the end, customers are made much more aware of the impact on their energy bills.

Example of analyzer quiz to promote energy efficiency education

Additionally, PSEG Long Island promotes seasonal energy-saving opportunities with energy efficiency campaigns. In the summer, the utility developed an email campaign that promoted chargeable electric lawn equipment.

Example of email to promote energy efficiency education

The utility also promoted “National Cut Your Energy Cost Day” on social media by sharing advice for cutting energy costs. It’s important to stay a few steps ahead of your customers in anticipating their needs.

Example of social media post to promote energy efficiency education

There’s No Place Like an Energy-Efficient Home

When it comes to energy efficiency education, residential customers tend to be more open to receiving advice or promotions, simply because they have the time to consider making purchases or behavioral changes. In comparison, time-starved business customers may see these conversations as distractions in their busy day.

“Owners and other decision-makers are busy trying to keep their business running, usually getting their hands dirty right alongside their employees,” observed the Association of Energy Services Professionals. “And as energy efficiency program implementers, here we come, knocking on their doors out of the blue, wanting an hour of their precious time to conduct an energy audit.”

When communicating to residential customers about energy efficiency awareness, there are a few topics that resonate most:

  • Self-serve: Customers want the ability to take things into their own hands and control their energy use. By sharing energy efficiency education tips and recommending things they can do themselves, such as replacing traditional lightbulbs with LEDs or adding ENERGY STAR® appliances to their kitchen, they are more responsive to making these changes.
  • Money: A big motivation for purchasing energy-efficient products is cost savings. Help residential customers crunch the numbers with an energy analyzer tool or calculator that shows exactly what their bill would be if they made these investments.
  • Property value: The more energy efficient a home is, the higher its property value, which means more money for customers. In fact, according to The Guardian and an Energy Saving Trust survey, 70% of homebuyers would consider negotiating the cost of a property if it was inefficient.

Even though homeowners are often the ones who can make large investments in energy efficiency, your energy utility shouldn’t forget about renters. This customer segment is just as concerned about lowering their energy costs as homeowners, if not more. Ensure you have a strategy in place that shares relevant energy efficiency education tips with renters.

Example of interactive content for energy efficiency education

Content marketing is a powerful tool in energy efficiency education. By teaching customers about energy efficiency in fun, engaging ways, they are more likely to make the switch. One example used by Questline Digital clients is the quiz “What’s your energy type?” which prompts customers to think about how they use energy in their day-to-day life. Once they understand their energy style, it provides more opportunities for your utility to promote energy efficiency awareness.

How Peer Pressure Can Create Customer Interest in Energy Efficiency

Another way to reach your residential customers is through friendly neighborhood competition. We’re serious — social norms are a stronger motivator than even your best promotional message.

According to research by the Harvard Business Review, people often use less energy when they think their neighbors care about the environment. When residential customers were told how much energy they consumed and how much energy their neighbors used, customers reduced their energy use by 1% to 2% per year.

“Surprisingly, what matters more than one’s own attitudes and beliefs — how concerned we are with our own energy use and the environment — is whether we believe our neighbors view saving energy as important to saving the environment,” the report found. So rather than always pushing “go green” messages directly on customers, consider taking an indirect route and sharing how their neighbors are making changes instead.

Business Customers and Energy Efficiency

Compared to residential outreach, communicating to business customers about energy efficiency education needs to be much more succinct and focused on two benefits: money and brand reputation.

Like residential customers, money is a top concern for business customers. However, this audience sees savings in a different light. Instead of simple lightbulb swaps, business customers want to know how to save the “big bucks.”

Share energy efficiency campaigns about rebate programs on equipment these customers may often use or need to purchase, or provide side-by-side comparisons of the energy performance (and savings) of key products. For example, illustrate the cost-savings of an electric forklift versus a conventional forklift for warehouse facilities, or electric fleets versus gas-powered fleets for delivery vehicles. By focusing on the equipment that matters to business customers, you can pique their interest.

When it comes to brand reputation, we all know that simple reviews or bad comments can make or break a business in the digital age. Creating a positive image is imperative, especially when it comes to sustainability and energy efficiency. In fact, according to a study by IBM and the National Retail Federation, “Nearly 70% of consumers in the U.S. and Canada think it is important that a brand is sustainable or eco-friendly.”

Business customers need to realize that their public image is just as important as their product. By implementing energy-saving processes or switching to efficient equipment, they could not only reduce operating expenses but increase revenue through customer appreciation and an eco-friendly reputation.

Guide Your Customers to Energy Savings

Building energy efficiency awareness comes down to what your customers need. Every customer is unique — it’s up to your energy utility to identify what matters to them and provide relevant solutions.

Customers are interested in saving energy and willing to make the switch, but your energy utility needs to educate them on the efficient products and services that will make an impact and help them save.

Learn how a content strategy from Questline Digital can help your utility drive customer interest in energy efficiency.

Sonja Britland has worn many hats at Taunton Municipal Light Plant (TMLP), from marketing to public communications. In her latest role as Sustainability and Commercial Development Manager, she is passionate about the environment and helping customers take advantage of renewable energy.

“I really hope to make a difference and put my energy toward something tangible to help our customers,” Britland says. “At the end of the day, I feel this role is so meaningful to me. I want to make an impact on our local community and future generations to come.”

Britland joined TMLP in 2004 as a marketing specialist for the internet side of the business. When they needed to cover a soon-to-be-open public communications position for the energy division in 2012, she was asked to fill in. It was supposed to be temporary, but ultimately it turned into a full-time opportunity for Britland, along with managing energy services and key accounts.

This past year, Britland took on the responsibility of managing TMLP’s newly created sustainability department, including hiring employees and crafting a sustainability plan. “It’s so much more than simply buying Renewable Energy Credits,” she explains. “It’s also about building vendor partnerships and finding ways to increase sustainability in the community.”

Headshot of Sonja Britland for Energy Spotlight interview

Throughout her tenure, Britland has been dedicated to increasing customer participation in renewable energy. One example is the Go Green 100% program, which she helped communicate to the public. This voluntary program gives customers a choice to have their electricity come from 100% renewable energy sources.

“We have customers who want their energy to come from renewable sources,” Britland explains. “But we live in an area with quite a few multi-dwelling units, and some customers are unable to take advantage of solar power. This is a way that we could make it economical for those that may have barriers to entry.”

For Britland, the biggest challenge for TMLP is the balance of providing competitive rates and reliable service, while also being an environmental steward. Some customers want their energy to come from 100% renewable energy sources, and others only care about energy costs. That’s why, she notes, it’s important to hear ongoing feedback from customers to develop new and equitable programs.

“Everything we do revolves around our mission to provide reliable, competitively priced services in an environmentally sensitive manner,” Britland says. “When you think about it, that’s a three-legged stool: If one of those pieces disengages, the stool won’t stand on its own. That mentality is what guides us.”

If she wasn’t creating sustainability goals for TMLP, you’d find Britland doing special effects makeup for horror movies. In her early 20s, she created makeup looks for various Fangoria Magazine events. Nowadays, you’ll find Britland in the great outdoors, whether hiking, kayaking or swimming. She also loves music and spending time with her friends, husband and 11-year-old son.

Questline Digital connected with Britland to get her thoughts on changes in the utility industry and what inspires her on a daily basis.

How did you get started in the energy utility industry?

With a background in business and marketing in the private sector, I joined the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP) in 2004 as a Marketing Specialist for the Internet Services Group. My primary role was to work with our commercial customers interested in bringing fiber optic internet access solutions to their facilities.

What has changed the most about your job working in the utility industry over the course of your career?
The most significant change was transitioning from general utility operations to a more strategic approach to decarbonization and sustainability, while balancing our rates and reliability to our customers. As a public power provider governed by our elected commissioners, our customers have an active voice in TMLP.

What excites you the most about the energy utility space?

Emerging technologies and tools being introduced to aid in decarbonization and electrification initiatives. It’s exciting to see what can help us achieve our federal, state and utility-provider goals to mitigate climate change.

What campaign or initiative are you most proud of?

Go Green 100% is a voluntary program that allows our customers’ electricity to come from 100% renewable fuel sources. Go Green 100% accomplishes this through the purchase of Massachusetts Class 1 Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

What’s a marketing campaign you wish you’d thought of and why (inside or outside the energy industry)?

The Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” television commercials. They were so outlandish, but also creative. I always looked forward to the next installment. A close runner-up is Dr. Pepper’s Lil’ Sweet commercials because they make me laugh and I’m a HUGE Prince fan!

What is the hardest part of working in the energy industry today?

The hardest part of working in the energy industry is the balance of providing reliable service with low rates, while also working toward decarbonization.

Finish this sentence: If I weren’t working in the utility industry, I would be…

Creating special effects for horror movies.

How do you anticipate the world of energy evolving in the coming years?

I believe we will come up with new technologies that will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint to help stall climate change.

What advice would you give to those entering the utility industry?

It’s amazing how quickly things can change in this industry. Always keep your mind open to new ideas and technologies, and how they can help our customers and our environment.

Participation in Questline Digital’s Energy Spotlight series does not indicate an endorsement from utility partners.