Marketing RFP Issued For Peninsula Clean Energy

Responses are due November 1, 2023 by 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time.


Peninsula Clean Energy is a public agency providing San Mateo County and the City of Los Banos with clean electricity at lower rates than the investor-owned utility, PG&E. We are seeking marketing agency support for a range of marketing initiatives over multiple years. We plan to evolve our brand platform and strategy, update our marketing strategies to reach and motivate customers to take action on decarbonization, and launch campaigns to raise brand awareness and support new program offerings.

Brand Strategy 

Our organization is growing and evolving and we are making operational changes to better engage with our customers across all of our channels. We will modify our brand strategy as needed to support these changes. We want to communicate and build our brand with a much larger percentage of the residents in our area to maximize our effectiveness. 

Program Offerings  

In addition to providing cleaner electricity for our customers, we support a variety of programs that drive electrification of new and existing infrastructure to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Most of these programs are for residents, and some are for businesses and municipalities. Current programs include:  

•              Rebates for switching to heat pump HVAC 

•              Solar + batteries 

•              Zero interest loans for electrification 

Visit or for more information about our residential and business programs 

In 2024, we are launching two new programs that will make electrification more accessible to customers for their homes and vehicles. We are eager to develop marketing strategies that put the customer first, using the right channels and tactics.

1.2         Objectives and goals

Our objectives are:

•              Increase awareness from 40% to more than 60% in the next two years

•              Build a brand that our customer can relate to and trust

•              Generate leads and help customers take advantage of our programs

•              Retain customers

Description of services

PCE is seeking an agency or agencies to support our marketing needs, including brand development and implementation, campaign development, creation, production, and campaign implementation including media planning and placement.  

Our organization is planning significant operational changes to how we engage with customers. For example, we are considering the addition of an in-house call center that can provide customers with assistance across the range of rate, program and general questions. We are also planning to expand our ability to offer programs and services to our entire residential base.

We encourage agencies to respond to some or all of our needs. We know that agencies may specialize in the brand, campaign, or media aspects of this RFP, and encourage partnerships. We understand that there are some sub-specialties, such as cultural program development. This should not stop you from a proposal – please specify the services you wish to provide, or explicitly identify those you are excluding from your proposal.


We seek marketing agency support for the following:

Brand strategy

Develop, clarify, and articulate our brand purpose (what PCE stands for) and promise (the value or experience customers can expect).

Develop voice, personality, and brand messaging. Develop core messaging that informs web content, PR messaging, blog posts, and social content as well as other areas of communication.

Develop a tag line that helps customers who are not aware of us to more quickly and easily understand our brand.

Brand identity 

Refresh our brand identity, including the look and feel, visual and other design elements that customers experience when they interact with us.

This includes updating the logo, possibly including colors (to provide more contrast for ADA compliance), font (current Ubuntu causes anti-aliasing artifacts in some applications), or a complete redesign. We will want the following: 

A proven process, including review/approval, and track record of success

Creative development appropriate to the brand needs designed with application and use in mind (our current logo content, complexity, and aspect ratio create problems in many applications)

Design must be appropriate to the cultures in our served territory, including concerns for Chinese and Spanish-speaking communities, at a minimum

Design shall not infringe on relevant trademarks/copyrights 

Other branding

As part of our brand update we will need brand assets, including: 

Color template, fonts, graphic elements that work together to express our brand, designed with application and use in mind

Development of all brand element artwork, brand style and use guidelines

Assistance with implementation, including design of letterhead, cards, PowerPoint and (optionally) web pages (design only)

Visual development and use guidelines for tag line


We seek agency support for the development and management of multiple campaigns, such as:

Educational campaigns, which last 6-18 months and may be either broad-based or narrowly targeted, depending on the campaign’s intended audience(s). Program launch and promotional (lead generation) campaigns also last 6-12 months. For example, we have both educational and program campaigns aimed at increasing awareness, creating interest and stimulating action for homeowners to convert from gas to electric appliances. Other educational campaigns we may pursue seek to change energy use behaviors through actions such as load shifting.  

For this RFP, we are requesting a more detailed response on these two campaigns:

An awareness campaign, envisioned for two years with a goal to increase our brand awareness from 40% to above 60% of our approximately 280,000 residential accounts in San Mateo County and the City of Los Banos. Communications currently include a monthly email that reaches about 200,000 accounts, and has a 50%+ open rate and click-thru rates between 2-7% of those who open, search ads which bring 5,000 visitors monthly to our web site, and social media reaching up to 20,000 and bringing less than 1,000 web site visitors per month.

EV managed charging campaign which includes an app, provides customers with control over the charging of their EVs to times of the day which are lower cost, thereby saving them money. This also works as a load shift program, moving charging out of the peak hours. This is for all residential EV owners, about 40,000 currently, and growing quickly. We have contact information for about 50% of the current EV drivers, We expect to be able to find additional EV owners through EV load detection in energy usage and an annual DMV list.

For our campaigns, we seek support as follows:

Marketing strategy and planning (audience targeting, message development, message testing, channels and marketing mix)

Creative development, design, and production across conventional and digital advertising which could include social media, email, direct mail, broadcast, video, and other tactics as needed

Cultural considerations for all broad-based campaigns and specific cultural considerations for targeted communications. In addition, we are looking for customized creative, tactics and delivery to reach certain communities, which may include Spanish-speaking communities, disadvantaged communities, or other 

Campaign management and reporting

As an example, please provide your approach and rough cost estimates for our awareness campaign and the managed charging EV program launch and promotion

Media planning and placement

We seek support to develop and implement our media plans. This could include, but is not limited to, broadcast (cable, TV, radio, streaming), digital search ads, remarketing, or display. We are open to sponsorships and subscriptions. We will be advertising to San Mateo County and the City of Los Banos. Please comment on your ability to provide the following

Strategy, planning, and placement for our campaigns, including tactics to reach targeted audiences

Media expertise and capabilities in broadcast (cable, radio), digital, streaming, outdoor

Recommendations that include standard and creative options, with expected risks and returns, and relevant benchmarks against which to evaluate our results

Media placement that, as much as possible, can be tracked and attributed.

Transparent, easy to understand cost analysis.

Weekly or monthly results reporting, as needed.

As an example, please provide your approach and rough cost estimates for our awareness campaign and EV managed charging program launch and promotion.

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