City of Cedar Park

Advanced Meter Infrastructure Rollout

Cedar Park is a major suburb of Austin, Texas. The city manages a water utility serving a population of more than 75,000 people.

The Challenge

Converting to Advanced Utility Meters

How does a city convert to advanced utility meters without confusing or antagonizing ratepayers who have expressed significant reluctance to adopt (and financially support) a new technology?

Customers were especially frustrated about their water use when the City experienced an unprecedented number of complaints about unexpected high bills. Locally dubbed “Watergate,” the incident led the City to seek tools to give customers more information on their water usage.

The Solution

Hahn Public’s knowledge and experience with public outreach campaigns based on the Diffusion of Innovation model made our firm the right choice for the City of Cedar’s Park’s advanced meter infrastructure technology roll-out.

While city leaders rightfully worried that skeptical ratepayers would reject the new technology as intrusive and unreliable, our campaign design focused on innovator and early adopter audience targeting. Our initial aim was to convince a minimum of 1,000 customers to sign up to use the City’s new Advanced Meter Infrastructure web portal.

Following initial roll-out, we used community events to increase familiarity and word-of-mouth endorsements for the new system. Our messaging focused on three big benefits to customers who signed on to the web portal:  Near real-time water usage data, alert set-ups and the ability to detect continuous flow or leaks.

“You’re Running the SH2OW”

The Hahn Public creative shop designed an array of persuasive content marketing materials to convey a message of control and empowerment to ratepayers.

Our “You’re Running the SH2OW” concept was produced in social media, billboard, yard signage, door hangar and print ad format, all driving ratepayers to an informative and engaging website.

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Digital Ads

The Results

Cedar Park’s changeover to automated meter infrastructure installation wrapped up in 2019 with virtually no citizen complaints and more than 53,000 visits to the purpose-built website used to inform residents. Our initial goal of attracting 1,000 registrants to the AMI web portal was exceeded in the first three days of outreach! And, an animated video we created to explain the new technology and web portal reached over 5,643 people through Facebook and YouTube.

53000

Visits
To the purpose-built website used to inform residents

1000

Registrants to the AMI web portal
Initial goal exceeded in the first 3 days of outreach

5643

People reached
By an animated video we created to explain the new technology on Facebook and YouTube