6 Aug 2008

Poll Results -- Water Bills

Hey! There's a new poll to the right! Here are the results from last week:

How much was your household water bill last month?
Free! (I don't pay for my water use) 35%18
Less than $40 17%9
$40 - $80 25%13
over $80 8%4
I have no idea... 15%8
52 votes total

What do these results* imply? Half of people don't know or can't know how much their water bills are. Amazingly, it's only recently that some cities in California even began installing water meters, moving from flat rate -- all you can eat gulp -- to some form of consumption-based billing. Amazingly (NOT!), people used less water when they had to pay for each unit.

Bottom Line: Peter Drucker said "What gets measured gets managed." Can we expect that "higher prices" are going to have any impact on people who don't know what prices they are paying now? No. Tell people how much they are paying and then charge them more if they are using "too much."

* Subject to all the caveats about sampling error, etc.

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