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Andrea R.H. Putz Irene Schild Caminer City of Chicago  Department of Water Management Thomas H. Powers, P.E., Commissioner...
Current Metering Status  <ul><li>Metered accounts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>180,873 accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High-...
Chicago Metering History <ul><li>Metering Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manual me...
Purpose of Project <ul><li>Create a program to meter residential accounts that will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change the minds...
<ul><li>A novel, hybrid approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntary – customer friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentive-...
Benefits of  M eter S ave <ul><li>Reduced bill : Based on results in other large  cities, the avg. customer’s bill will  b...
<ul><li>System efficiency:  Easier identification of leaks within the distribution system </li></ul><ul><li>System account...
So what is the message? <ul><li>Water meters will  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>help make homeowners more conscious of water usag...
How do we market the message? <ul><li>Two main population segments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save water, “green” people  </li...
How can customers request a meter? 311 Call Center MeterSave.org website Automated Phone System Website allows for schedul...
Technology Initiatives Achieved in an Accelerated Time-Frame <ul><li>Enrollment in MeterSave </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By phon...
Technology Initiatives Achieved in an Accelerated Time-Frame (cont’d) <ul><li>Installation of AMR Meter </li></ul><ul><ul>...
Testimonials by Neighborhood on the website
Marketing: Effect of Non-Metered Bill Advertising Blue lines indicate timing of non-metered bill mailings (sent 2 x per ye...
Marketing: Neighborhood Ambassador
Conclusions <ul><li>The word is spreading!  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost 10,000 volunteers to date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>...
Questions & Answers 11
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A Novel Approach to Conservation & Water Meters in Chicago: MeterSave

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A Novel Approach to Conservation & Water Meters in Chicago: MeterSave

  1. 1. Andrea R.H. Putz Irene Schild Caminer City of Chicago Department of Water Management Thomas H. Powers, P.E., Commissioner A Novel Approach to Conservation & Water Meters in Chicago: MeterSave
  2. 2. Current Metering Status <ul><li>Metered accounts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>180,873 accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High-usage – industrial, commercial, suburban </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>80% of water revenue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flat rate of $2.01 / 1,000 gallons for all customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technology being upgraded to Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Non-metered accounts: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>316,881 accounts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Low-usage - single family homes, 2-flats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>20% of water revenue </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on the lot size, # of fixtures, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Chicago Metering History <ul><li>Metering Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manual meter reading </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historical myth </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aging infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Conservation Challenges </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Big blue lake! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carrot but no stick </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 1: Change the Mindset </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Phase 2: Tackle Remaining </li></ul></ul>Chicago has proposals for universal metering dating to 1900!
  4. 4. Purpose of Project <ul><li>Create a program to meter residential accounts that will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change the mindset regarding water meters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get as many people metered as possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage water conservation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Options considered </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meter upon property transfer (FPC) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Burdensome for real estate industry </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult to get buy-in from City Council </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Installation scheduling & location challenges </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mandatory, geographic-based (block by block) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Almost impossible to get buy-in from City Council </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Home owners won’t be home during the day, won’t let us in </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easy pass through City Council but hard to get enough volunteers </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>A novel, hybrid approach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voluntary – customer friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentive-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Financial: 7-year guarantee that metered bill will not exceed what the assessed billing rate would have been </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Conservation: Choice of water conservation tool: indoor kit, outdoor kit, rain barrel, or meter monitor </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Information: Get an AMR meter w/leak detection, profile </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geographic-based </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scheduling is done on a ward by ward basis – efficient </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Participants must pay bills on time </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantee does not transfer to new property owners </li></ul><ul><li>Limited to first 20,000 volunteers annually </li></ul>Decision: M eter S ave
  6. 6. Benefits of M eter S ave <ul><li>Reduced bill : Based on results in other large cities, the avg. customer’s bill will by 17-33% </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Currently the data we have is showing more than 50% savings </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Equity for customer : Water bill is based on actual usage – use less, pay less </li></ul><ul><li>Done at no cost to the customer : meter and installation free of charge & offer a water saving incentive </li></ul>4 <ul><li>Frequent, smaller bill: Metered bill is sent every 2 months — that means a smaller bill on a regular basis — easier to budget </li></ul>to the customer
  7. 7. <ul><li>System efficiency: Easier identification of leaks within the distribution system </li></ul><ul><li>System accountability: How much water is actually pumped & consumed - in keeping with the Mayor’s Water Agenda </li></ul>5 Benefits of M eter S ave to the City of Chicago <ul><li>Reduce wasted water: Chicago & NE IL could face a severe water shortage by 2050 if we fail to plan for the future (Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, July ’08) </li></ul>
  8. 8. So what is the message? <ul><li>Water meters will </li></ul><ul><ul><li>help make homeowners more conscious of water usage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure the long-term sustainability of our water infrastructure & our continued access to a clean water supply </li></ul></ul>8 30 MGD = 300,000 addt’l customers
  9. 9. How do we market the message? <ul><li>Two main population segments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save water, “green” people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save money people </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Marketing provided the framework for IT and Operational changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make volunteering, scheduling and installation easy, minimally disruptive & user friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Barebones budget </li></ul><ul><li>20,000 limit annually – can’t be too successful! </li></ul>
  10. 10. How can customers request a meter? 311 Call Center MeterSave.org website Automated Phone System Website allows for scheduling of water meter installation!
  11. 11. Technology Initiatives Achieved in an Accelerated Time-Frame <ul><li>Enrollment in MeterSave </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By phone to a person (3-1-1 and Customer Service Reps) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By phone to a computer (updated entire IVR phone tree) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By website with email confirmation (Novel) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scheduling Meter Installation Neighborhood by Neighborhood </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By phone with a person </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By phone with automated alert system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By website </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Technology Initiatives Achieved in an Accelerated Time-Frame (cont’d) <ul><li>Installation of AMR Meter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paper-heavy workorders  Automated, paperless system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interface between work order system and billing & collection system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Handheld devices for installers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Real-time upload to systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative installation methods—compression & crimp fittings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Photos of installers on website </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Billing for Water Usage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New bill format </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tracks annual cap – part of 7-year guarantee </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Post-Installation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>QA/QC Post-Cards </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Testimonials on website </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Testimonials by Neighborhood on the website
  14. 14. Marketing: Effect of Non-Metered Bill Advertising Blue lines indicate timing of non-metered bill mailings (sent 2 x per year)
  15. 15. Marketing: Neighborhood Ambassador
  16. 16. Conclusions <ul><li>The word is spreading! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Almost 10,000 volunteers to date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People are saving money! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avg. savings is over 50% to date </li></ul></ul><ul><li>People are saving water! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers say they pay more attention to their water use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Effect of the economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>people are looking for ways to save money </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>however, no $ for a professional marketing campaign </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Huge IT and Operational changes were needed to make the process fast & effective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Over 4,500 meters installed so far; goal for 2011 is 7,000 more! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Work culture change - paperless, automated, website driven </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Questions & Answers 11

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