Making more use of low carbon energy sources is vital for the sustainability of our future. National Grid is intent on progress towards net zero by 2050.

Ahead of their sponsorship of COP26, National Grid wanted to create a groundswell of awareness and understanding of progress towards - and their commitment to - net zero. They needed a positive story, focussing on the progress that has already been made to combat climate change inertia and what other actions can and will be taken to make an impact.


  • Create awareness of National Grid’s commitment to and progress towards net zero
  • Build clean energy progress into the public consciousness
  • Build a groundswell of awareness and excitement about the COP26 climate conference and what it means for everyone in Great Britain


National Grid have a lot of data about all energy produced and all energy consumed at any given time.

Most people want to help battle climate change, but they don’t know how. They don’t have the information and feel the task is too big.

What if we took National Grid’s live data from across Great Britain and used it to create a solution which would let consumers know how to make smarter energy choices at home in real time, so they could do their part for sustainable living?


Our job was to harness the power of social influence to ultimately reach policy makers.

Key groups within our overall general public audience were:

GenZ (8 – 24) - the most likely audience to have changed their brand buying behaviours based on green credentials; most engaged in taking positive action; most likely to actively encourage others into action and are already starting to believe in the power of the collective.

New & Young families (24 – 44) - most likely to believe that they are too small to make a difference on their own; greatest users of in-home energy; most likely to believe technology and innovation can solve climate change.

Creative Solution

Introducing The Green Light Signal. The low energy consumption lightbulb that glows green when the electricity supply at home is cleanest, letting people know in real time when it’s a great time to turn on the dishwasher or charge their car, without negatively impacting the planet!

We wanted to enable people to participate, and be a participant ourselves, by creating spaces and opportunities for people and communities to contribute to a common goal: driving towards Net Zero.

In order to reach our target audience, we decided to tell a clear and simple data story that would increase renewable energy use and show people that their individual actions and sustainable behaviours make a difference, at the same time as raising awareness of National Grid’s green energy ambitions.

By meeting this audience where they were – at home – and offering them a real, practical solution to reducing their own environmental impact, National Grid were able to demonstrate that they are acting in real and robust ways.

The innovative nature of the approach was designed to earn attention beyond the scope of the initial bulb roll out.


First, we had to create the working bulb.

To do this, we linked National Grid data to smart bulbs through an API. Once linked, carbon footprint data could be pushed in real time, from servers to homes.

A setting was made to change the colour of the bulb once zero carbon energy sources had taken over.

Users’ location data was added on sign up, so when an area’s energy source was green, it ‘pinged’ the light bulb to go green.

Hundreds of green light smart bulbs were produced and circulated to celebrity talent, influencers and politicians around the UK, including the COP26 minister Alok Sharma. These were boxed up with a user guide so recipients had step-by-step instructions to get started with their bulbs, as well as handy tips for the kind of activities they should consider doing when they got the ‘green light’.

Business Outcome

Key stakeholders, employees, MPs and media were gifted with the bulb and encouraged to spread the word, bolstered by broadcast, print and online interviews fronted by National Grid leadership and campaign talent Helen Skelton. Initial reactions to the Green Light Signal across earned and social media have been overwhelmingly positive. 

Total reach
Bulbs gifted
Positive or neutral sentiment (80% above target)
Visitors to campaign website landing pages


National Grid - The Green Light Signal

A simple solution to help consumers make smarter energy choices at home.

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