Document Type

Honors Project - Open Access


This paper provides evidence on the effects of information provision on households’ water use. I use quarterly household consumption data from a utility in Minnesota to test the effect of a new residential water billing system on households’ water consumption. The updated billing format was possible as the utility transitioned to an automated meter reading (AMR) system. I also study impacts of another source of improved information provision from AMR adoption, faster high-water consumption notices. I find mixed evidence of the impact of personalized information on households’ water use. Households respond to high-consumption notices by significantly reducing consumption, even relative to baseline-levels. Reductions from these one-time notices wane over time as consumers return to baseline consumption levels after three quarters. Overall, my findings suggest limited consumer-side benefits of AMR adoption.



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