Kilo-What's up: PGE's videos aim to entertain and educate
By Andy Giegerich
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Kate and Stan prepare to embark on a journey that will end with viewers learning exactly what constitutes a kilowatt hour. The duo stars in a video series produced by PGE.
Looking for an easy, and entertaining, way to describe a kilowatt hour? How about affirmation that the refrigerator door should be closed while you’re buttering your toast?
Portland General Electric has hit the video scene with a series of instructional vignettes — they’re more like sketches, replete with repartee among the two engaging Portland-based acting leads "Kate and Stan" (played by Mercedes Rose and Leif Norby)— that aim to regale viewers with answers to simple energy questions.
The latest installment "Kilo-What," released last week as part of the Switch Labs video series, features a compelling explanation of what exactly constitutes a kilowatt hour. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but the actors deploy small and mammoth blocks of clay, as well as long and short spools of red ribbon, to make their point.
In the previous installment "Chilling Effect," Kate and Stan answer burning (chilling?) questions about refrigerator power use. The question “Does it take more power to open and close a fridge door than it does to leave it open” elicited the answer “No way: It’s far more efficient to keep the door closed when possible,” particularly if the door’s open for longer than 30 seconds.
“It’s not easy to explain how energy is measured so we wanted to try and make it fun and relevant through our Switch Labs video series,” said Sheelagh Bandettini, PGE corporate communications director, in a release. “Switch Labs has become a popular way for PGE to share energy-saving tips via the web and social media.”
It’s also, simply, pretty fun to watch. The six online episodes have attracted more than 160,000 views.
Along with fridge tips and kilowatt knowledge, PGE’s video team also discusses the most energy efficient ways to clean dishes, wash clothes and boil water.
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