Water 2050 Bill Insert Program
Water 2050 recommends that public water suppliers communicate regularly with water users about regional water demand and supply, the benefits of water conservation, and the actions being taken by the public water supplier to enhance conservation and stewardship.
Furthermore, CMAP conducted a water utility survey in 2008 during the planning process for Water 2050. Utility survey respondents identified public information campaigns as the most desirable conservation best management practice. In the spirit of implementing Water 2050 and assisting public water suppliers, CMAP created the Bill Insert Program to serve as a method of public information outreach. The program has a library of bill inserts covering a variety of topics from lawn watering to infrastructure needs.
What is a bill insert?
Bill inserts are a public information outreach tool included in water bills. Inserts are generally a two-sided informational sheet (6 ¾ inch X 3½ inch) used to communicate a message to customers. This message could range from general conservation tips, such as "turn off the water while brushing your teeth" to more detailed messages about groundwater recharge.
Why use bill inserts? What are the benefits and costs?
Bill inserts are a cost-effective strategy to communicate to customers. Typical costs include printing, cutting, and stuffing inserts into bills. These costs could range from as low as $0.02 an inserts to $0.10 an insert depending partly on how many are being printed at one time. In some rare cases, additional postage could be necessary. This cost is minimal when compared to a more comprehensive public information campaign that may include public service announcements, billboards, flyers, events, etc.
What is the Water 2050 Bill Insert Program?
The Bill Insert Program is a partnership between a public water supplier or municipality and CMAP that provides public information to residents about water issues in the region. Every two months, the program will release a new insert. However a public water supplier or municipality may use any of the released inserts (below) at any time as we realize the region's water systems have varied billing cycles and community needs. On each bill insert is a placeholder that states "your logo here." This program provides bill insert templates that can be customized with each municipality's logo while at the same time providing a consistent regional message.
How does the program work?
- Step 1: Choose an insert(s) that is appropriate for your community from the library below.
- Step 2: Submit a request form with a municipal logo file to Tim Loftus at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Acceptable format for logo: jpeg, tif, eps, ai. Desired Dots per inch(DPI): 150-300
- Request form can be attached or cut and pasted directly into an email.
- Step 3: Receive finalized bill insert PDF from CMAP
- Step 4: Print, cut, and include inserts in water bills
- Step 5: Fill out the 4 question follow-up survey and submit to CMAP.
- Step 6: Repeat.
What is the public water supplier or municipality responsible for?
A public water supplier or municipality is responsible for sending their municipal logo to CMAP as well as the printing, cutting, and inserting of the bill insert in the water bills. Finally a community needs to complete the 4 question follow up survey.
What are the costs associated?
As stated above, the main cost would be the printing, cutting, and inserting of inserts. This can range from as low as $0.02 an inserts to $0.10 an insert depending partly on how many are being printed at one time. There will also be staff time associated with working with CMAP to finalize the bill insert and time to research, choose, and price out the printing of the inserts.
What is CMAP responsible for?
CMAP is responsible for the messaging, designing, and graphics of the bill inserts. Communities cannot change the messages or graphics of the inserts. The power behind these inserts is that they communicate at the local level and provide a unified message about a variety of topics throughout the region. As more public water suppliers and municipalities use the inserts, the wider spread the consistent messages become.
CMAP will provide each participant with a customize PDF of their chosen bill inserts with their logo inserted. This PDF can then be sent to a printer. Additionally CMAP can work directly with a printing company to ensure picture and size quality.
What inserts are available now in the library?
A. Lawn Watering
B. Groundwater users
C. Lake Michigan users
D. Aging Infrastructure
Please note that these inserts are finalized. No changes to the message, graphics, or colors will be made.
Are the inserts available in electronic version for enewsletters or water bills?
Some water bills are not the typical bill size but are mailed on postcards or through another medium. We can work with individual utilities to accommodate their specific billing style. We also offer the option of electronic messaging for inclusion in enewsletters and water bills.
What about WaterSense Bill inserts?
If your community is a WaterSense Partner, your community may use the stock bill inserts on the partner website. If your community would like to join WaterSense as a Partner contact Cary McElhinney, USEPA Region 5, WaterSense Coordinator, at McElhinney.Cary@epa.gov or 312-886-4313