A PARTNERSHIP WITH BECKLEY, WEST VIRGINIA
Beckley, West Virginia is a city with a population of 20,000 residents located in southern West Virginia and is the central hub of Raleigh County. Like many cities in the country, Beckley is looking to create an environmentally conscious community while, at the same time, dealing with important budget issues.
In June 2009, Beckley hosted a workshop, sponsored by Utility Service Partners, Inc., discussing "Bottom Line Green." 'Green' has become a new buzzword today, and everyone is making a claim that their program or product is good for the environment.
But can a utility line warranty program contribute to a cleaner planet?
Well, the answer is Yes.
Leaking water pipes waste millions of gallons of treated water each year. Wasted drinking water has to be recaptured and retreated by the local municipal water system. Leaking sewer lines pollute ground water and acres of land. The re-treating of water can waste energy and resources, contributing to increased carbon emissions and lost revenue for the city. And citizens become frustrated when they learn that they are responsible for repairing — and paying for — broken or leaking pipes.
USP's program offers cities a solution that ensures timely repairs to broken homeowner water and sewer lines, thereby conserving water resources and minimizing waste water pollution. For a small monthly fee paid by the homeowner, USP offers around the clock repair service, with access to a live representative and prompt service performed by local, certified technicians. A cleaner planet, a happier citizen.
Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh was intrigued. "The mayor approached us right after the session and asked for more information. He wanted to know more about how this kind of a program could benefit the city", said Brad Carmichael, Vice President, Business Development.
Were there strings attached? How much would it cost the city to implement? Would the city have to find the manpower to help get the program off of the ground?
The answer is No.
No strings attached. No cost to the city to implement. USP covers all of the costs to promote the utility line warranty program to the local citizens. In terms of city involvement, USP simply needs a few pieces of information, including the city seal, return address and the official's signature for the communication. It's that simple. USP's solution is designed for fast turnaround with little impact to city government.
Mayor Pugh was pleased with the company's approach. "Working with USP is really easy. They take care of everything — marketing, billing, and customer service. All we had to do was review and approve the letter to customers."
By October 2009, Beckley had contracted with USP to offer the utility line warranty programs to its citizens, and the first marketing campaign, a sewer line warranty offer, was mailed to Beckley households the following spring.
The program was a tremendous success. "We were delighted with the response from our citizens." Mayor Pugh commented on the results of the first campaign. "Providing a service to our residents which helps them avoid costly repairs, that's something they really appreciate".
The NLC Service Line Warranty program is a timely solution for cities like Beckley, West Virginia and many others across the United States. By sharing in a portion of the revenues collected from this program, cities can relieve some of the strain caused by shrinking revenues and increasing costs. The program also offers cities the opportunity to enhance their image by providing an additional service that benefits their residents.