Communicating in Terms Customers Can Understand
Describing leaks in terms of the number of gallons of water lost is useful but only if your customers have a context for what their water usage is or should be. You’d be hard pressed to find a person who can tell you that the average monthly indoor usage for a person is about 2,000-3,000 gallons of water. If you tell customers a silent leak will lose 7,000 gallons of water in a month, unless they have a frame of reference, it’s not as meaningful as it could be.
Thanks to complicated pricing tiers, service fees, taxes and other charges that show up on a water bill, it’s difficult for a homeowner to tell you the price of a gallon of water. Everyone, however, knows the price of a gallon of gas.
So if you want to have maximum impact in your “pay attention and fix water leaks” campaigns, convert the losses created by different leaks into an estimated price. This helps customers better understand how little water losses that happen over an extended period of time can be very costly.
We estimated the cost of different sized leaks for two Colorado water providers. We assumed the indoor usage was 6,000 gallons per month. Here’s what we found:
|Type of Leak||Cost – Denver Water||Cost – Colorado Springs Utilities|
|Silent leak (7,000 gals.)||$42.15||$71.06|
|1/16in. leak (25,000 gals.)||$131.32||$220.35|
|Toilet flapper leak (86,400 gals.)||$701.52||$776.16|
Linking a price to the size of a leak will help your customers understand the importance of identifying and fixing leaks quickly.