Best Practices: Conserving Water Resources for the Long Term at Madison Water Utility
This IDC Energy Insights report presents the smart water project that Madison Water Utility (MWU) deployed between 2011 and 2013 to improve operations and customer satisfaction. Madison Water Utility has been challenged to achieve a long-term conservation program goal that reduces water consumption by 20% by 2020 (over 2008 levels). In embarking on a journey to assist its customer base to act with greater awareness of water use and improve the utility's management of daily operations, it has invested in a practical, affordable technology. The $12 million technology investment in a fixed wireless network by Itron has enabled the utility to create a host of benefits including:
It has increased cash flow by reducing the six-month billing cycle to one month. An added benefit of reducing customer surprises of high bills and breaking payments into more affordable increments. The average bill went from $303 for six months to $50 for one month.
The new system allows customers to set the threshold for usage notifications instead of the utility. This feature will notify customers of usage (in one-hour increments) to allow individuals to achieve a self-imposed usage cap within a billing cycle.
"Business transformation is likely to provide the strongest proof points of this project over the long term MWU conducted analyses of users with the highest water use (e.g., 1,000 gal per hour) and notified customers if they fell outside the norm. On finding leaks that the customers, both commercial and residential, were responsible for, the customers were thankful of the avoided costs when the inevitable leak (i.e., running toilets, broken underground pipes) was found and fixed," said Marcus Torchia, research manager, Worldwide Smart Grid Strategies.
Please Note: Extended description available upon request.