The AquaHawk Blog

A blog about customer portal solutions for utilities.

Case Study: Seacoast Utility Authority, FL

Service Connections: 36,000 | Households + Businesses Served: 51,560 | Meter Reading System: SensusAMI

CaseStudy Article SUA FrtHighlights

  • Identified potential water leaks and enabled SUA to easily alert customers
  • Reduced onsite service calls for high bill issues
  • Helped support staff answer customer inquiries more effectively
  • Offered customers more self-service capabilities.
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Article - How to Make a Business Case for Investing in a Utility Customer Portal

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9 Ideas for Utility Billing and Customer Service Managers


 How to Make Business Case for Investing in a Utility Customer Portal (PDF) Introduction

Public trust in your utility happens when the service community believes that its interests are aligned with the interests of your organization. In order to earn and reinforce this trust, utilities have to continually demonstrate that serving customers is a commitment woven in to everything they do.

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Case Study: City of Wooster, OH

Service Connections: 9,600 | Population: 26,540 | Meter Reading System: Aclara AMI

CaseStudy Blog CityofWoosterHighlights

  • Improved the City's ability to identify leaks and rapidly notify customers
  • Reduced customer support calls
  • Delivers useful data for managing the water system
  • Gives customers more control over their water consumption.



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AquaHawk Helps City of Woodland Water Customers Understand Their Consumption


CityofWoodland BlogThe City of Woodland has released an easy-to-use online tool to help people and business owners better understand and manage their water use at a time when summer temperatures are rising.

This free service, AquaHawk Alerting, allows Woodland water customers to view their hourly water use, receive alerts when there is abnormal use on their account, and more, according to Jordan Power, city water conservation coordinator.

Read the full article here.

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Case Study: City of Redmond, OR

Service Connections: 10,000 | Population: 30,000 | Meter Reading System: Aclara AMI

CaseStudy Blog CityofRedmond frontpageHighlights

  • Implemented an automated past due notification program that reduced the number of customer shutoff visits by 30%
  • Launched a community outreach program to meet State-mandated water conservation requirements
  • Expanded the tools available to employees enabling them to perform day-to-day tasks more efficiently.



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AquaHawk Featured in Water Efficiency Weekly Blog

Water Efficiency WeeklyNancyGrossKanye and the Dry, Dry West

Today I am turning my blog over to Todd Brehe, a product manager for AquaHawk alerting, who looks at certain kinds of California drought stories that show up in the mainstream media to see if they are presenting the problem in a meaningful light. Are multimillionaires who continue to water giant green lawns the gangstas here? What are the options for managing any property, whether those of the rich, famous, and paparazzi-hounded, or the average homeowner? Check out this comprehensive discussion, and I invite you, as always, to join the discourse by adding your comments at the end of his contribution.

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Case Study: Dublin San Ramon Services District, CA

Service Connections: 21,524 | Population: 78,000 | Meter Reading System: Sensus FlexNet™ AMI

CityofDublin outlineHighlights

  • Dramatically reduced daily potable water use and irrigation consumption during 2014 resulting in a lower State mandated water conservation standard (12%) than other neighboring districts for 2015. Easily meeting that standard
  • Reduced the number of accounts receiving excess usage penalties from 1009 to 65
  • Implemented a consumer engagement solution and enrolled more than 7,675 accounts--nearly 40% of their customer base.
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AquaHawk Helps Utilities Manage Conservation Standards and Water Restrictions

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AquaHawk Alerting includes several capabilities that enable water utilities to meet drought reduction limits, manage water restrictions, and help customers better understand water budgets.

Support for Manual and AMR Systems

AquaHawk supports any type of meter reading system and read frequency. Depending on how frequently a water provider collects meter read data, however, dictates which AquaHawk capabilities are available to consumers and utility employees.

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AmCoBi Launches Intelligent Water Conservation Solution to Help California Utilities Meet Mandated Water Use Reductions

Water Use Reports | AquaHawk Alerting
Two New Additions to AquaHawk Alerting Encourage Customers to Conserve Water

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, April 30, 2015 – California water utilities without AMI or "smart meter" systems can now offer customers new ways to help reduce water use, thanks to two enhancements to the AquaHawk Alerting™ Web-based portal.

"AquaHawk Alerting is the only solution available that empowers utilities with first- and second- generation metering equipment to provide some 'smart meter' capabilities to their clients," announced Bobby Lee, AmCoBi President. "Governor Brown mandated reductions from 8 to 36% for major California water suppliers. Utilities must encourage all their customers to save."

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AquaHawk Alerting Featured on CBS SF Area News

KPIX 145x161Channel 5 KPIX in San Francisco recently featured a news story about Dublin San Ramon Services District (DSRSD) and their use of AquaHawk Alerting. AquaHawk integrates with the Sensus FlexNet smart water meter network DSRSD previously installed.

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AquaHawk Featured in Water Efficiency Magazine – Eight Practices for Implementing a Water Utility Customer Portal

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AmCoBi recently contributed an article to Water Efficiency Magazine describing eight best practices for water utilities implementing a customer portal solution. These practices include: planning your portal project, presenting actionable information…not just data, communicating proactively, and more.

Read the full article here.

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Case Study: Oro Valley Water Utility, AZ

Service Connections: 19,000 | Population: 42,000 | Meter Reading System: Sensus FlexNet™ AMI

Oro Valley AZHighlights

•  Expand their online services
•  Enable customers to view their water usage and an estimate of their bill anytime during the billing cycle
•  Send proactive customer alerts when leaks or other issues are detected
•  Enable the water conservation team to perform their daily tasks more efficiently and drive better conservation results.

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Right Information. Right Customer. Right Communications Channel. Right Time.


What is the essence of effective customer engagement for utilities? Caroline Winn, Vice President of Customer Services and Chief Customer Privacy Officer at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) sums it up perfectly when describing their consumer engagement programs:

“We have found that to be successful, it is crucial to offer the right information to the right customers through the right channels at the right time to encourage participation.” 1.

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8 Steps for Evaluating Customer Portal Solutions for Water Utilities

A Quality Model for Evaluating Customer Portal Solutions

Article Evaluate Customer Portal SolutionsA municipal water utility providing services to 5,500 endpoints had just finished upgrading meters and installing a wireless meter reading network. The choice to implement a fixed base meter reading system–commonly referred to as an AMI or Advanced Metering Infrastructure system–would virtually eliminate drive-by and manual reads, and allow the utility to collect daily usage data, remotely.

At nearly $1.4 million, the price tag had been a tough sell to the city council. But council members had agreed to the project knowing the utility would reap improvements in operational efficiency, and create long-term cost savings. They were also sold on the leak detection capabilities of the new system.

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Case Study: Castle Pines Metropolitan District, CO

Service Connections : 1,682 | Population: 4,556 | Meter Reading System: Mobile AMR / Sensus FlexNet™ AMI


•  Prevented the loss of more than 5.5 million gallons of water (16.9 acre-feet)
•  Saved the District $225,000 in avoided water costs (purchase, treatment, and distribution expenses)
•  Identified a wide variety of leaks caused by: broken toilets, malfunctioning appliances, leaking irrigation lines, improperly
    programmed irrigation clocks, pipe breaks, and more
•  Enhanced the level of service to CPMD customers by proactively notifying them of problems and preventing costly property damage.

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AmCoBi Featured in WaterWorld Magazine – Poor Man’s Fixed Network

WaterWorld Cover2No longer able to afford the payments on their beautiful $700,000 Colorado mountain home, a couple packed up their belongings, discontinued the electric and gas service, and left the neighborhood after the bank foreclosed. Shortly after, a cold front lasting several days hit the community. Freezing temperatures were followed by seasonal highs and then more cold weather.

This graph shows usage data for a single account that was flagged as having a leak. The leak went uncorrected for several days.

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How to Establish Clear Customer Value with your Customer Engagement Solution


In 2010, Baltimore Gas & Electric, an investor-owned utility, put together a plan to implement an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meter reading system for 1.2 million electric customers and 640,000 gas customers. The price tag? A whopping $835 million that would inevitably be passed through to customers. The good news, the utility highlighted, was that the project could qualify for $200 million in ARRA stimulus funds.

It’s an understatement to say that BG&E got a little push back from its customers. Even the Maryland Public Service Commission said, “Whoa….not so fast.” Phil Carson, wrote in the Intelligent Utility Daily, that in order for BG&E to win approval, “Maryland regulators insisted that the utility establish clear customer value for its AMI project.” 1.

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New Release! Customer Engagement for Water Utilities – White Paper

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Breakthrough Technologies that Improve the Customer Experience

There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. This couldn’t be truer for water utilities and the idea of customer engagement. Water providers have an exciting opportunity to use new technologies, data, analytics, and the science of persuasion, to create a higher quality experience for customers. Utilities can meet their customers’ demands for more choice, greater flexibility, and actionable advice. And they can even provide the motivation clients need to participate in worthwhile activities like conservation.

To download this free white paper, click here.

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How Effective are ET Controllers?

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There is an excellent research study titled, Evaluation of California Weather-Based “Smart” Irrigation Controller Programs that discusses smart controllers, also known as ET (evapotranspiration) controllers, and how effective they are at conserving water. “Smart controllers are a new generation of irrigation controllers that utilize prevailing weather conditions, current and historic evapotranspiration, soil moisture levels, and other relevant factors to adapt water applications to meet the actual needs of plants,” the study noted.

The study analyzed a substantial amount of data for 2,294 smart controllers installed in Northern and Southern California. While this report is information-packed and lengthy (309 pages, document size = 4.73MB), the gist of the findings can be learned quickly from the Executive Summary.

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Have you Considered Water Budget-Based Rates?

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There’s an informative report titled, “Water Budget-Based Rate Structures – Powerful Demand Management Tools” written by Peter Mayer of Aquacraft, Inc. that you can find here: It provides a comprehensive explanation of water budgets and water budget-based rates, how they’re used, the benefits and challenges, and recommendations on how water providers can implement them successfully.

Here is a brief summary of some of the main points in the report:

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Those Water Leaks Can Be Pricey

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Water providers around the country routinely communicate to their customers the amount of water that can be lost unnecessarily by small, continual water leaks that result from dripping faucets/showerheads, broken toilets, holes in a sprinkler system, etc.

The EPA’s WaterSense website estimates that “the amount of water leaked from U.S. homes could exceed more than 1 trillion gallons per year. That’s equivalent to the annual water use of Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami combined.”

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