Collecting Billing Data and Utility Tracker for the Knox Greenleaf program

Collecting residential billing data

In 2008/09 Knox City Council Greenleaf participants were asked to provide billing information (gas, electricity and water) at each session as a means of collecting quantitative data to measure the success of the program.

In order to encourage residents, an incentive was provided in which participants were entered into a competition to win a Photovoltaic solar system installed at their home just by submitting their bills. The more billing information provided the greater the opportunity to win this prize.

This proved to be a successful incentive with the majority of residents submitting billing data at each session.

Once submitted, a copy of the bill was photocopied (by the Council officer) and the original returned at the end of the session. It was also explained that the billing data was to be used for a measure of collective success rather than individual household success in reducing use of utilities.

There was no resistance from residents providing billing data due to privacy reasons.

The following year however we didn’t have the luxury of providing such an enticing incentive (due to budget cuts) and therefore noticed a drop off on the number of bills submitted. This proved to be detrimental to the success of capturing the data as billing data can only be compared on a seasonal basis.

Storage and Tracking billing data - Utility Tracker

Once collected, the utility tracker was utilised to store and track data from Greenleaf residents.

The utility tracker is a simple and user friendly system to enter in billing data. It does however require a large amount of detail from the bills which can be detrimental if there is not consistent input of data over a number of years.

With a build up of a number of years of data, the program has the ability to track and identify change in utilities. The data can be simply exported into Microsoft excel to analyse data

Due to the difficultly obtaining consistent billing data through behaviour change programs, this program may not necessarily be the best measure of data.