Getting consumers to buy in to the value of water has always been tricky. Many people have been hearing messages about saving water for years but to little effect. Awareness is increasing with the extended drought in California becoming mainstream news. But the real change in consumer behaviour is being driven by providing the homeowner with improved usage statistics.
“Not only must you know how much water you’re using,” explains Ian McLeod, the vice president of marketing with Master Meter in this Water Online Radio interview. “It’s also important to know how much you’re using relative to the neighbour next door. If you said, I'm using a thousand gallons a week on my lawn, I might say, that's not much, that's reasonable, but if I found out that the average home owner in my area was only using 600 gallons, or 500 gallons, I might be thinking, wow, I am using way more than I should.”
In the past, utilities had few options beyond including a flyer with the water bill alerting consumers that the area was experiencing a stage four drought for example and requesting that they curb their water consumption. But arming consumers with customer Web portals and apps running on both mobile phones and tablets has proven far more powerful.
“The more data that a consumer has, the more understanding they have of their own personal consumption footprint,” MacLeod continued. “They can look at their hourly information, daily information, weekly, they can see trends, understand how much more they're using in the summer, understand how much water they're using when they take a shower.”
The backbone to Master Meter’s solution to empower utilities and consumers alike is called Harmony, a meter data management software solution that processes consumption data through an IBM analytics package.
To learn more about Harmony and advanced meter infrastructure (AMI), click on the audio player below: