A conservation campaign to encourage consumers and commercial organisations to reduce their electricity usage during Summer will launch in Oman today, at an event which will see key influencers from the business community come together and pledge their support for this worthwhile environmental cause.Pioneered by the Electricity Holding Company, the campaign will be targeting high users such as businesses and the wider Omani population. It will primarily aim to considerably reduce electricity usage in this year’s peak summer months, with a particular focus on air conditioning. Mr. Karl Matacz the CEO of the Electricity Holding Company said, “In very simple terms we are urging everyone to turn their air-conditioning from 18 degrees to 23 degrees. By doing this across the country we will save huge amounts of energy and help to reduce demand during the peak hot weather periods.”Through its launch to Business Leaders and Heads of Organisations across the Sultanate, organisers are hoping to ‘recruit’ this influential, select group of individuals to take responsibility for the cause. By enforcing immediate changes and becoming campaign ambassadors, these leaders will help raise consciousness of air conditioning use in Oman.“The idea is to start our initial communication with industry ‘influencers’, who will help us lead the campaign,” said Mr. Salman Al Hattali, Customer Service Manager of the Muscat Electricity Distribution Company. “Influencers could be Ministers, Undersecretaries, Department Heads in Municipalities or CEOs of corporations, but all will be seen to encourage a positive change in the behaviour of our Omani citizens. Once we have these influencers on board we will see this as the key to our success, and we expect the message to filter through to smaller businesses and consumers very quickly after that.”To support their efforts, the ‘ambassadors’ will be provided with employee packs and will be mentioned in newspaper advertisements publically thanking them for their support. In addition, the organisations’ metres will be read one to two weeks and a roll of honour will be established and published.
The immediacy of this campaign will be followed up with a longer-term strategy for individual consumers. “We believe that if we make consumers conscious of conserving their electricity through education and money saving advice, it will create a ‘push and pull strategy’ at work and in the home,” says Mr. Salman.
To add an element of fun to the campaign, the organisers have developed a friendly White Oryx character called Noor, who is ready to share her wisdom with the people of Oman. As the campaign hero, Noor will educate the householders, employees, school children and small business owners on the importance of saving electricity and energy for the good of the Sultanate.Mr. Karl said, “As we all know, the White Oryx is native to Oman and was saved from extinction by His Majesty The Sultan. Noor the Oryx is the perfect character for this campaign as she actually lowers her own metabolic rate in the hot summer months to conserve her own energy! We expect she will win the hearts of the public and will hopefully make a difference to the success of this worthy project.”Organisers believe the campaign will build up momentum very quickly. So much so, that they have implemented a facility to measure its effects, by monitoring electricity usage through the summer months. Immediate results may be on the cards, but the organisers see more of a long-term strategy for the campaign.“We want this campaign to encourage a long-term behavioural change with regard to electricity/energy usage in the peak summer months this year and for years to come,” concludes Mr. Karl.