EVALUATING THE TRUCKEE MEADOWS WATER AUTHORITYS SUMMER 2015 CONSERVATION MESSAGING PILOT PROGRAM
Last registered on September 29, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
EVALUATING THE TRUCKEE MEADOWS WATER AUTHORITYS SUMMER 2015 CONSERVATION MESSAGING PILOT PROGRAM
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000887
Initial registration date
September 29, 2015
Last updated
September 29, 2015 1:54 PM EDT
Location(s)
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Truckee Meadows Water Authority
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2015-07-08
End date
2017-10-05
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This pre-analysis plan outlines the hypotheses to be tested and the specifications to be used in the analysis of the Truckee Meadows Water Authority’s (TMWA’s) water conservation messaging pilot program conducted in summer 2015. This study will consider the impact on residential customers’ water use of five mailers sent to a random sample of single family residential customers in July and August 2015. These five mailers included (i) a “tips sheet” with suggestions for how to conserve outdoor water use; (ii) information on customers’ water use history; (iii) information on how customers’ water bill is determined and the potential savings from conservation; and (iv) social norms messaging that compares customers’ total water use to the median water use for other single family residences in their neighborhood with similar yard size and number of bedrooms. The experimental design will allow us to analyze (i) heterogeneity in response to the treatments along multiple dimensions, including customers’ total water use, assessed home value, and rate structure; (ii) the differential impact of mailers on indoor versus outdoor water use; and (iii) the mechanism through which social comparison messaging influence water use (i.e., whether social comparison messaging influences customer water use by highlighting social norms about the appropriate level of water use or by sending the customers a signal about the privately efficient behavior of other customers serviced by the utility.)
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Stoddard, Shawn. 2015. "EVALUATING THE TRUCKEE MEADOWS WATER AUTHORITYS SUMMER 2015 CONSERVATION MESSAGING PILOT PROGRAM." AEA RCT Registry. September 29. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/887/history/5437
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Intervention Start Date
2015-07-08
Intervention End Date
2015-08-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcome variable is average gallons of water consumed per day (GPD) during each meter reading period (calculated by dividing total consumption over the meter reading period by the number of days in the reading period) from customers' August, September, and October bills.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
NA
Experimental Design Details
Sample Size A total of 23,213 TWMA single family residential customers will have received at least one mailer by the end of summer 2015. This leaves 23,577 customers in the control group. See below for details on sample selection. Five Mailers The 23,213 TWMA single family residential customers in the treatment groups where divided evenly between the five mailers that comprised TMWAs water conservation messaging pilot program. Single v. Double Mailings Of the 23,213 customers included in the treatment group, 15,696 received their assigned mailer only once: 7,892 received a single letter in July and 7,804 received a single letter in August. The remaining 7,517 received their assigned mailer twice, in both July and August. Customers selected to receive two mailers received the same treatment in both months. Target Population In order to be included in either the treatment or control group the customer must: Single family home customer in TMWA’s service area; Have lived at their current residence since April 2013; Have a billing address that corresponds with the residential service address, thereby eliminating water users who may not pay for the water they use, and bill payers who have limited control over the water use at the residence (in the case of rental homes); Have metered water service, dropping approximately 3% of TMWA single family residential customers with flat rates; Have a 2” service or less, which excludes large water services; Live within one of the targeted bill cycle regions (Bill cycles 1, 19, and 20 are excluded from this study because these are dominated by either commercial or flat rate water services. Some of the meter reading routes within bill cycles 7 and 13 are also excluded for the same reason); Have nonzero water use during each month of the 2013 irrigation season (May-September) and pre-treatment months during the 2015 irrigation season (May-July); Have used enough water during at least one month of the 2013 irrigation season to exceed the tier 1 limit (Tier 1 approximately corresponds to meet indoor water needs for a typical single family home. Water use in tier 2 or higher indicates outdoor water use.Customers who meet all other requirements except this one are excluded from treatment and control groups. However we include these tier 1 water users in the calculations for the social norms comparisons to accurately represent the median water use in each neighborhood.)
Randomization Method
The method of randomization was blocking with pairwise matching within blocks. The randomization and sample selection are performed in Stata.
Randomization Unit
The randomization was performed at the individual customer (not cluster) level.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
NA
Sample size: planned number of observations
46,790 customers (23,213 control; 23,577 treatment)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
NA
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers