May 10, 2011 - The City of Tallahassee has added presentation and analysis of water data to its Aclara ENERGYprism® online customer-care solution, the most widely used and tested customer-portal platform in the industry.
The ENERGYprism application provides easy-to-understand explanations of bill changes and colorful graphics that show customers how they are using electricity, gas, and now, water. The utility’s addition of water analysis augments its customer service initiative to give city residents consumption information, bill explanations, conservation tips, and more options for connecting with the utility online.
Aclara’s ENERGYprism application serves as the landing page for the City’s recently rolled out electronic bill-payment system. “Much of what we put into the water solution is built upon experience with millions of consumers at other utilities,” says Andy Zetlan, Aclara’s vice president of product management for software applications. “Our platform is the only one in the industry that ties together personal energy and water consumption data with conservation guidance.”
ENERGYprism for water operates in a similar way to Aclara’s applications for presenting electric and gas data, showing customers a breakdown of indoor and outdoor water usage. Breaking it down further, the system estimates how much is used for appliances, such as the clothing washer and dishwasher, as well as how much goes down the drain in sinks, toilets and showers. Simple, quick-to-complete home profile questionnaires allow customers to get even more personalized analysis and ways to save. In addition, the application presents water consumption on a daily and hourly basis.
The application also provides benchmark water-consumption data, so customers know how their usage compares to an average household as well as water-efficient homes of similar size and age. Plus, there are personalized recommendations on ways to reduce usage. As another customer service, the City added Aclara’s bill-to-date function, which allows customers to monitor their estimated bills. This function provides the information customers need to take action prior to receiving a high bill. As part of the service, individual consumers can set a consumption or dollar threshold that, if exceeded, alerts the consumer and prompts action to reduce usage before receipt of a large bill.
“It’s all about delivering value to our customers,” says Reese Goad, utility services director for Tallahassee. Along with helping customers understand their gas, water and electric consumption, Goad hopes the new water data will help customers understand their bill overall.
“Customers tend to think of the bill as covering their electricity service only, but gas and water are in there, too. Sometimes, the water and sewer component are bigger than the electricity costs. We think this will help customers understand all the services they get for their money. We hope it will save them money, as well,” he adds.
Aclara is part of the Utility Solutions Group of ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE:ESE), and a leading provider of Intelligent Infrastructure to gas, water, and electric utilities.