Consider the constant, humble Utility Bill. Bill shows up like clockwork each month to tell his customers how much energy and water they used and how much it cost. Yet the only thing the customer pays attention to is the money they owe. Looking at him, they think, "Boring Utility Bill." Only Accounts Payable will talk to him.
The cheque is cut. The payment is posted. No one gives Bill a second glance. He has quietly delivered a simple, single message. Utility Bill has so much more to offer others throughout the company, but he is typically unappreciated and ignored. Bill disappears under layers of other paper. "Poor Utility Bill". He has become buried treasure, a diamond in the rough.
Utility Bill needs your help. He is introverted and shy. He has a hard time communicating and getting introduced to new people. His treasure trove of knowledge is hidden away. If more people made the time and effort to carefully learn what Utility Bill has to say, their patience would be rewarded. Utility Bill is detailed and extremely knowledgeable. He can be very useful to many in a company. Once people get to know him, Utility Bill is truly engaging.
Do you know where your energy and water comes from? Do you know how much you are using and when you're using it? Bill knows. Bill can tell you a lot about yourself, some of your secrets, even. You may be paying for accounts you don't even know about. Bill can give you tax information, fixed charges, global adjustments, clean energy benefits, rate riders, power factors. You'll learn more about your organization's operations than you ever thought possible. Utility Bill can tell you lots. But how do you get Bill to talk?
There is a group working to give Utility Bill the makeover he needs and deserves. They are called the Utility Billing Data Access Working Group. It's a mouthful. But don't let that fool you. They are experts from across Canada who have come to help Utility Bill better tell his stories. The members in the group come from utilities, energy management companies, universities, municipalities, industrial customers, billing companies and IT. They bring a lot of brain power.
Right now, the Working Group thinks Utility Bill needs something to help him better communicate his information. This is a new idea. So, before they go much further, they want to study all the options closely, including a bar code, and make sure it will work.
They also want advice from others. They have set up a website and they are inviting comments. You can see their updates and can post your comments at http://www.udbca.org/.
Show Utility Bill the love this Valentine's Day. He needs someone to care and help him shine. Someone who sees value behind the plain facade. The world has so much to learn if Utility Bill can only speak out and be heard. Will you help?