Gen Less Campaign – Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority

Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority

Learn how the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority (EECA) is running a multimedia campaign to inspire New Zealanders to live a climate-positive lifestyle now by helping them understand that living with less will actually give them more.


EECA has a role in mobilising New Zealanders to be world leaders in clean and clever energy use at both an individual and business level. There’s a disconnect between people’s belief that we should do more about climate change and how people are actually behaving. There’s a misconception that reducing environmental impact negatively impacts the quality of life.


Gen Less was created as the home of inspiring ideas to reduce energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. It calls people and businesses to commit to living a ‘less is more’ lifestyle when it comes to energy, and turns belief into action through easy and impactful actions, resulting in compounding long-term behaviour change. Ultimately, the goal is to turn around New Zealand’s rising emissions total.

Observations and lessons learnt

Collaboration with the public and non-government entities


The initial campaign was launched at a time of heightened public awareness through events such as the School Climate Strikes in September 2019. This people-led momentum meant the public was primed for their campaign – timing matters. This campaign pushed the boundaries.

Role of technology


The team undertook deep research on both the public and businesses to learn where the misalignment was to avoid messaging landing flat, which could be a costly mistake. They learnt we don’t need to convince people of climate change, as research shows 80% agree climate change is happening. It’s about showing them what they can do – 52% know they could be doing more. This and more research "created the insights or context needed to craft this platform." People want collective action.


Reading or watching stories from people like you, explaining what they’ve done, is a proven way to create behaviour change. Gen Less has a presence on many media platforms, including TV ads, a website, videos, and a podcast. They use a mix of known public figures and people whose lives are like yours.


The ETA requires an organisation to have approval from their leadership team before participating in the Assessment. This ensures support, increases the road map's implementation status, and raises carbon reduction as an organisational priority.

Processes and adaptability


After March 2020, it became obvious that it was an inappropriate time with COVID-19 for the pre-planned campaign, and people had more significant worries. The team learned from research that the approach should be about suggesting less, not more, things to do. This led to the Power of No campaign, focused on the power of saying no, and rejecting the pressure to take more from the planet for unimportant things.

Say no to wasting energy – yours and the planet's.

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