Water Online

May 2017

Water Innovations gives Water and Wastewater Engineers and end-users a venue to find project solutions and source valuable product information. We aim to educate the engineering and operations community on important issues and trends.

Issue link: https://wateronline.epubxp.com/i/816402

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Page 21 of 38

in California initiated a year-long pilot SNM campaign to promote household water efficiency. The developers of that campaign describe SNM as follows: The central idea behind social norms marketing is that much of people's behavior is influenced by their perceptions of what is "normal" or "typical." According to social norms theory, if people are shown that their behavior is outside of the norm or that their perception of the norm is incorrect, they will be motivated to change the way they behave so they conform more closely to the norm. (Mitchell et al., 2013) In order to test the effectiveness of the SNM model, EBMUD sent Water Reports (HWRs) to 10,000 homes by mail and email. These reports shared data tailored to household water consumption, provided comparisons with similar households to encourage social competition, and rated each household's performance as "great," "good," or "take action," with corresponding images illustrating happiness, neutrality, and sadness. Results from the EBMUD pilot program were significant, with an average reduction in water usage of five percent across all 10,000 households. When customers were compared with similar households, they not only became competitive (an effective element of Cialdini's scarcity principle), but also developed the perceptions that all of the other customers were making efforts to improve their water scores (reflecting Cialdini's consistency and consensus principles). Conclusion Introducing a new technology requires a communication campaign designed with an understanding of the target customers' values, perceptions, and behaviors. In the case of AMI, utilities often struggle to encourage customer uptake of the technology. Behavioral science offers tangible solutions, not only to raising awareness, but changing behavior, and it does not take much financial investment if done right. The AMI technology offers a promising path toward helping the utility realize greater efficiency, and also help it engage with the customer more, by offering data that can inform outreach and awareness based on insights from the behavioral sciences. The insights into human behavior, perceptions, and attitudes offered by behavioral science can help shape smart communications and outreach campaigns that resonate with target customers — increasing social and environmental awareness, and appreciation of public services offered by water and electric utilities. *View the full report and case studies at www.hahnpublic.com. n References American Water Works Association, State of the Water Industry Report 2016 (pp. 1-62, Rep.). Retrieved June 9, 2016. Anda, M., & Temmen, J. (2014). Smart metering for residential energy efficiency: The use of community based social marketing for behavioural change and smart grid introduction. Renewable Energy, 67, 119-127. doi:10.1016/j. renene.2013.11.020 Cialdini, R. B. (2007). Influence: the psychology of persuasion. New York, NY: Harper Collins. Doom, J. (2013, May 13). Water Utilities to Spend $2 Billion on Smart Meters Through 2020. Retrieved December 13, 2016, from https://www.bloomberg. com/news/articles/2013-05-13/water-utilities-to-spend-2-billion-on-smart-meters- through-2020 McKenzie-Mohr, D. (2000). Promoting Sustainable Behavior: An Introduction to Community-Based Social Marketing. Journal of Social Issues, 56(3), 543-554. Mitchell, D. L., Cubed, M., & Chestnutt, T. W. (2013). Evaluation of East Bay Municipal Utility District's Pilot of WaterSmart Home Water Reports (pp. 1-78). Retrieved December 5, 2016, from www. allianceforwaterefficiency.org/WorkArea/ DownloadAsset.aspx?id=8745. Sheehy L, Dingle P. Educating Communities for Sustainability: Living Smart in the City of Fremantle, Western Australia, In: Marchetti N Brebbia SA, Tiezzi E Wadhwa LC, editors. The Sustainable City III: Urban Regeneration and Sustainability, Southampton: WIT Press; 3004, pp. 505-13; [b] Sheehy Lucy Ann, Goal Setting for Sustainability: A New Method for Environmental Education. PhD thesis. Murdoch University; 2005. U.S. Energy Information Administration - EIA - Independent Statistics and Analysis. (2016, April 25). Retrieved March 13, 2017, from http://www.eia.gov/ tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=108&t=3 Wang, U. (2015, May 05). Water Meters Begin to Get Smarter. Retrieved December 13, 2016, from http://www.wsj.com/articles/water-meters-begin-to-get- smarter-1430881505 wateronline.com n Water Innovations 19 As the leader of Hahn Public's water practice area, Sapna Mulki (Director, Water Utilities) consults with clients on water issues ranging from conservation outreach to rate structure communication. Sapna has over 10 years of expertise in water finance and policy and environmental education and policy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and international relations from Eckerd College and a Master of Arts in sustainable international development from Brandeis University. About The Authors PUBLICOUTREACH As reporter, researcher, writer, and analyst, Mike Clark-Madison (VP, Public Policy and Research) is one of the region's best-known and most accomplished communicators. After 15 years of covering local and regional politics, society, and culture as a writer, editor, and journalist, Mike "retired" as city editor of the Austin Chronicle in 2005 and joined Hahn Public Communications. He holds degrees in communications from The University of San Francisco and The University of Texas at Austin. Ryan Orendorf (VP, Natural Gas Utilities) leads Hahn Public's utilities practice area and has worked on some of its most significant clients including the ONE Gas companies (Oklahoma Natural Gas, Texas Gas Service, and Kansas Gas Service), the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, and the South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER). He is a graduate of Clemson University. Shelly Gupta (Director, Electric Utilities) brings eight years of experience to the firm's energy practice, leading important initiatives including the Texas Gas Service Energy Efficiency Program, Lubbock Power and Light, and SPEER. She provides strategic marketing and communication, brand development, crisis communication, and community outreach for her clients. Shelly graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in public relations and a certificate in business foundations. Behavioral science offers tangible solutions, not only to raising awareness, but changing behavior, and it does not take much financial investment if done right.

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