Non-residential water customers use nearly 43% of public water supplied in the United States. In fact, their portion of public water demand has increased over the past twenty years as water efficiency in the residential sector has improved. Studying customer behavior has become an essential management strategy for most businesses. Yet this group of water customers is largely understudied by utilities, in large part because it is an extremely diverse customer classification. There are many ways to slice-and-dice the data. This blog post describes one way of identifying the big changes that big customers make.
The study: Over the past year, the Environmental Finance Center has worked with the North Carolina Urban Water Consortium and Valor Analytics to develop meaningful and feasible metrics to track non-residential water customers’ behavior. Utilities can incorporate these metrics into their practices to better understand and anticipate non-residential water customer water use and revenue impacts.
Meaningful metrics: One such metric is called the plateau: a significant and sustained change in water use behavior.