I-Corps Teams: MyWater -- Personalized Water Conservation and Cost Savings
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The broader impact/commercial potential of this I-Corps project is to empower individuals to understand and manage their consumption of utility provided resources such as water, electricity, and natural gas. Many regions experience shortages or constraints in delivery of these resources (short and long-term) with appreciable costs for individual consumers as well as society at large. Technology that brings high-resolution consumption data in real-time to consumers allows them to understand the price and effect of individual choices as well as the benefits to be gained by decisions to reduce, defer, and schedule consumption. Clear economic incentives exist at this consumer level that will generate ''bottom-up'' benefits for society as a whole through more efficient infrastructure and resources use. This I-Corps Cyber Physical Systems project explores commercialization potential and conducts customer discovery for technology to analyze and communicate end-user utility consumption and effects on large-scale utility infrastructure systems. This technology capitalizes on the advent of Advanced Metering Infrastructure, which allows real-time monitoring and communication of water and other utility consumption and behavior. It is comprised of a suite of information technology components for capture, assessment, and presentation of data through multiple channels, algorithms to analyze usage patterns, and additional algorithms to translate consumption patterns for system operations and infrastructure optimization needs. A pilot study implementing this technology at a water utility has found significant reductions in water usage, leading to lower customer costs; at the same time, the utility reports higher customer satisfaction. Advanced metering infrastructure represents a ubiquitous sensing technology, a class crucial to ''smart'' infrastructures and cyber-physical systems.