Making water efficiency more rewarding



In 2016 and 2017 Greenredeem launched two pilot schemes to understand how customers could be motivated to reduce the amount of water that they use at home.

These schemes were developed as an extrapolation of the core Greenredeem scheme, initially launched in 2009. During this time Greenredeem has successfully worked in partnership with local authorities and brands such as Marks and Spencer and Unilever, to motivate residents and customers to recycle more and waste less.

The pilot schemes run independently in partnership with Thames Water and South West Water, and reward on two levels: direct action and indirect action.

Following a registration process, customers become Greenredeem members and are then rewarded for reducing the actual amount of water that they use (direct action), and for ‘learning & earning’ (indirect action). Through 'learn & earn' campaign activities, such as taking a pledge, a quiz, or watching a piece of content, members can increase their awareness of actions they can take to reduce the amount of water they consume in a fun and engaging way.

Measuring & rewarding customers actions

Once registered as a scheme member, customer water usage is tracked on either an individual level, or as part of a community. During the pilot stages, Greenredeem have developed schemes to reward customers individually, based on meter readings from a specific location, or as part of a community through a District Metered Area (DMA).

In both instances, members earn points for reducing their water usage. Members will earn 1 point for every 10 litres they have saved, based on data provided by the water company on a frequent basis. In addition to this, members can also earn at least a further 100 points per month for taking part in targeted 'learn & earn' communication campaigns.

Greenredeem’s innovative approach to monitoring and measuring behaviour change is made possible by receiving regular water consumption data for registered households by meter or for the entire DMA. Our platform will measure water consumption, rewarding those residents with Greenredeem points where consumption is lower than pre-agreed baselines.

This approach allows Greenredeem to tailor its communications, enabling us to be tactical and personal to customers. Members will earn points for taking 'learn & earn' activities through the website, or smartphone apps. By taking a quiz, making a pledge or watching a short film, we can promote additional, topical behaviour change. Each activity that a member takes will earn points. These activities will reflect local challenges and can be adapted accordingly.

Registered customers will accrue points which they can then decide how to reward themselves. We understand ‘reward’ is very personal and we offer the choice of:

Win prizes through our prize draw
Donations for national charities
Rewards for use in local shops and businesses

Member experience

Building on Greenredeem’s experience in motivating customers to recycle more and waste less, we have developed a user experience that motivates customers to reduce the amount of water that they use at home. The following depicts the member experience:

My Account area

Members have a dashboard that reflects the status of either their household or the community – showing where points have been earned for water efficiency and will provide members with an easy ‘at a glance’ indication of their water usage.

Registration process – quick tour

We develop bespoke content that will appear during the registration process to highlight key messages to new members, relevant to the water company.

Our aim is that new members will learn & earn points within minutes of joining the scheme and experience the reward options straight away.

Campaign marketing

With the community built, engaged and earning points for behaviour change, the focus of Greenredeem moves towards continual motivation of members to maintain behaviour change, to meet the objectives of each water company.

Each monthly campaign will focus on a topical activity. The first example demonstrates a campaign to highlight the challenges of World Toilet Day.

Promoting water efficiency products

As part of the scheme offer, Greenredeem incentivises members to use water saving gadgets, by earning points for ordering them.

The user journey is simple. Members are known to the system and with a simple ‘one click’ order process, a daily dispatch file is sent to a fulfilment house by secure data transfer, for dispatch to the member.

A future development will see follow-up communications with members that have ordered products, to ensure that full value is captured.

A personalised email programme for members

We have developed a series of successful trigger emails that are sent to members based on pre-set criteria. These would include:

1) Members receive a monthly usage statement that will correlate to their DMA or meter readings. If usage has gone up, the member gets tips to reduce water consumption. If the usage has gone down, they’re given ideas of how to spend their points.

2) When the DMA’s baseline is updated an email will be sent to the member advising them of their new baseline. The trigger will identify if the baseline is going up or down and send customized content accordingly.

3) We can increase the points per litre saved to reflect dry periods. Members will receive notification that they are now getting double points, triple points, etc. 

Rewarding awareness

With up to an estimated 20% of the water in the network still being lost to leaks*, managing those leaks is increasingly in everyone’s interests.

By providing members with a function to report leaks on the Greenredeem website, awareness of members can be rapidly captured, evaluated and resolved.

Members can understand how to work out where the leak is coming from, and then understand what action to take. Members that report a leak will also be rewarded with points for their vigilance.

*Source: 2017

Impact (Pilot #1)

Pilot 1 saw nearly 25% of the eligible households in the area register to participate, whereby their water efficiency was measured and rewarded by individual smart meter data received on a weekly basis. Secure automated weekly file transfers have been set up, allowing for a seamless transfer of data from the water company to Greenredeem.
During the pilot, which lasted from November 2016 to February 2018, members earned 439k points, equating to a reduction in usage of circa 4.4m litres through saving water and taking campaign activities. 

During this period, nearly 20% of points earned were spent on rewards, donated to charity or used for entering the monthly prize draw. 

By reviewing weekly smart meter data, we can ascertain that the impact following registration was a saving of just over -5% per household, taking the average household consumption from 343 litres / hh / day to 326 litres / hh / day.

In addition to this, by capturing household occupancy data during the registration process, through KPI reporting, we can report accurate Per Capita Consumption (PCC) data. This allows the opportunity to tailor communications even further, looking at the consumption patterns and behaviours in households, with varying numbers of residents.

Impact (Pilot #2)

The 2nd pilot has seen nearly 20% of the DMA register to participate. As the pilot was based on the usage of the DMA, a secure portal was created to allow for users at the water company and Greenredeem to easily update DMA level baselines, usage and manage new locations coming on stream.
During the first year of the pilot, members have earned nearly 500k points through saving water and taking campaign activities, representing a reduction in consumption of nearly 3.6m litres. 

Nearly 100k of those points have been spent on rewards, donated to charity or used for entering the monthly prize draw. Due to operational issues and leakage, measurement at the total DMA level has proven challenging, therefore individual meter data for registered households has been reviewed. 

Over 90% of the registered households in the DMA have a meter fitted. By measuring meter consumption data for the registered households pre and post, members have seen a reduction in their water consumption of -6.1% since the pilot started.

"The average household in the UK consumes about 150 litres of water per person, per day, but really simple behaviour changes can add up to a big difference. A running tap wastes over 6 litres per minute. If the entire adult population of England and Wales remembered to turn off a tap whilst brushing their teeth, we could save 180 mega litres a day - enough to supply nearly 500,000 homes. Having the added incentive of the Greenredeem and South West Water scheme should make a big difference in the Exeter area”

Prof David Butler (Professor of Water Engineering at University of Exeter)

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