Aquarion Water Company
Aquarion Water Company is among the ten largest investor-owned water utility companies in the United States and the largest in New England, serving nearly 580,000 people in 39 communities throughout Connecticut. GBPR has worked with Aquarion on a number of important projects in both their Connecticut and Massachusetts service areas, including media outreach campaigns, public opinion surveys, collateral material design and the development of public affairs outreach plans. Recent efforts include providing strategic communications support for rate adjustment applications before Connecticut and Massachusetts utility regulators, launching community and philanthropic initiatives and working to defeat an eminent domain action targeting one of the company’s Massachusetts systems.
Climate Partners/Dr. Energy Saver
Founded in the early 1900’s as Casey Fuel, Climate Partnersis a professional heating and cooling company based out of Milford, CT, providing home energy audits through Connecticut’s Home Energy Solutions (HES) program. When the co-owner of Climate Partners co-founded a new, national energy-saving franchise company – Dr. Energy Saver – as a separate entity, he contacted GBPR to assist him in establishing each company’s brand, making his role within each clear, particularly with the media, state energy regulators and elected officials. GBPR’s outreach efforts garnered extensive media coverage, highlighting each company’s unique services and the benefits of home energy efficiency. GBPR promoted Dr. Energy Saver’s week-long “boot camp” training program at the company’s headquarters, which attracted franchisees from across the country, and leveraged its existing relationships to introduce the company’s principals to various regulators and elected officials, emphasizing the environmental benefits of Dr. Energy Saver’s services.
Connecticut Clean Energy Fund
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) is a quasi-public agency with the mission to develop, invest in and promote clean energy, and to help Connecticut residents learn more about the resulting benefits. GBPR was retained by CCEF to raise awareness of the fund’s track record of successful investments, which have helped to advance Connecticut’s clean energy objectives. Working with CCEF’s leadership, GBPR developed a public relations campaign using outreach to local, state and national media and trade publications to announce program initiatives and milestones. GBPR also drafted and placed op-eds and coordinated editorial board meetings with major daily newspapers in Connecticut. The integration of these various tactics generated significant media coverage for the fund and enhanced overall awareness among journalists, policymakers and residents of CCEF’s leadership in the development of clean, sustainable energy in Connecticut.
Connecticut Petroleum Council
The Connecticut Petroleum Council is a trade association representing major oil companies, refiners, terminal operators, pipelines and others in the petroleum industry. During the 2007 and 2009 legislative sessions, bills were proposed to ban zone pricing of gasoline, thus prohibiting wholesalers from varying their prices to retailers based on supply and demand. The Connecticut Petroleum Council retained GBPR during both sessions to defeat this legislation by raising awareness of the importance of zone pricing in order to keep local, individually-owned gas stations in business. To accomplish this, GBPR carried out a full-service media relations plan including the submission of opinion editorials (op-eds) from Connecticut gas station owners to their respective local papers, outreach to public affairs-focused television and radio shows and editorial board meetings with major daily newspapers across the state.
The Connecticut Water Company
The Connecticut Water Company is the largest domestic, investor-owned water utility in New England, supplying water to nearly 300,000 residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers in 55 towns in Connecticut. To garner public and regulatory support for the company’s 2006 rate case, GBPR developed and executed a multi-channel communications plan that educated and informed customers, elected officials, business leaders and media about the need for rate relief. The media outreach portion of the PR campaign focused on radio and television programs, and weekly and daily newspapers in areas of the state serviced by Connecticut Water Company.
Environmental Systems Products Holdings
Headquartered in East Granby, CT, Environmental Systems Products Holdings, Inc. (ESP) is the industry leader in vehicle emissions testing equipment and program management and service for state, provincial and local government agencies, as well as automotive repair and dealer customers. In preparation for a bid to secure Connecticut’s vehicle emissions provider contract, GBPR was retained to prepare key messages, press kit materials and the Public Information and Education (PIE) portion of ESP’s proposal. GBPR was fully integrated in planning sessions for ESP’s presentation, which included being called upon to present the PIE section of the proposal to Department of Motor Vehicles officials and staff.
Founded in Fairfield, CT, and serving 88 communities across the state, FCR Recycling markets recyclable materials and designs, builds and operates recycling facilities. GBPR worked with FCR in its efforts to defeat legislation which would have removed highly valuable plastic water bottles from the existing curbside recycling stream, thereby undercutting the economics that enable the recycling program. GBPR designed and executed a media campaign including outreach to local and state media, the submission of op-eds and letters to the editor, meetings with key editorial boards and appearances on public affairs television programs. With GBPR’s support, FCR was able to effectively communicate its messages to Connecticut’s policymakers and defeat efforts to expand the “Bottle Bill.”
GBPR was engaged by General Electric- Energy Financial Services to create a public relations and community outreach plan in support of the company’s planned development and regulatory approval of the Towantic Energy Project, a combined cycle gas turbine power plant in Oxford, CT. GBPR successfully supported the project’s advancement, providing guidance and media relations support, until market conditions dictated a delay in the company’s plans.
Northeast Utilities is New England’s largest utility system, serving more than two million electric and natural gas customers, and operating electric transmission and distribution networks in Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and New Hampshire. In compliance with federal requirements, and in response to increasing demand for affordable, reliable and renewable electricity across the Northeast, the company commenced a three-state, $1.5 billion upgrade of its transmission infrastructure. Northeast Utilities engaged GBPR to develop and lead a comprehensive communications campaign to help meet the complex commercial, regulatory, technical, financial and political challenges inherent in this large-scale project. GBPR’s approach and execution has been both wide-reaching and flexible, communicating the need for, and impacts and benefits of, this project to all interested constituents. Through GBPR’s counsel and support, Northeast Utilities has created an ongoing dialogue with regulators, elected officials, media, ratepayers, environmental groups, property owners and residents.
Trane is a world leader in HVAC and indoor air quality solutions for homeowners and commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Trane engaged GBPR to help raise market awareness for its enhanced capabilities in the areas of green solutions, energy-efficient buildings and cost-saving system controls. GBPR increased public understanding of Trane’s new capabilities through strategic media placements, targeting existing and prospective customers as well as advocates for advanced energy conservation and environmental practices.
ZENON Environmental, a division of GE Power & Water, is a global leader in drinking water and wastewater treatment technology. ZENON’s wastewater treatment systems enable environmentally responsible smart-growth and economic development without the need for expensive sewers and centralized treatment facilities. When opponents of a smart-growth real estate development on Connecticut’s shoreline tried to halt the project through legislation that would have placed a moratorium on advanced wastewater treatment systems, ZENON retained GBPR for support. Through an integrated media relations and grassroots advocacy campaign, GBPR was able to help ZENON defeat proposed moratorium legislation, thereby allowing the developer to gain the approvals necessary from the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to move forward.