WaterSense 2010 Partners of the Year
On October 6, 2010, EPA announced its 2010 WaterSense Partners of the Year at the second annual WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Banquet co-sponsored with the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The banquet was held at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference Expo in Las Vegas. This year's water-efficiency heroes, along with more than 2,000 other WaterSense partners promoted WaterSense to help save water for future generations.
The 2010 Partners of the Year represent the best of WaterSense's four partner categories and have made great strides in increasing water efficiency and awareness of the WaterSense label across the country. And the winners are…
In 2010, WaterSense expanded its Partner of the Year Awards program to include Excellence Awards, which recognize the following organizations and individuals whose WaterSense support stood out in one or more of the evaluation categories.
For Excellence in Strategic Collaboration:
- Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
- Drains Plus, Inc.
- Kohler Co.
- Robert Dobson
For Excellence in Labeled Products in the Marketplace:
For Excellence in Demonstrated Results:
- Bryan Condray
Learn about these partner's activities (PDF) (4 pp, 1MB, About PDF) read the EPA press release, and view photos from the 2010 WaterSense Awards Banquet, co-sponsored by WaterSense and the Alliance for Water Efficiency.
2010 Retailer/Distributor Partner:
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
Taking WaterSense promotions to new heights in 2009, Lowe's won the WaterSense Partner of the Year award for the second time in a row. In fact, the Fortune 50 company calculated that efforts to promote WaterSense tripled in 2009, from increasing its stock of labeled products; extensively marketing and advertising the WaterSense brand; and introducing an entirely new "Build Your Savings" campaign to educate consumers on how they can save water, energy, and money. In 2009, Lowe's sold enough WaterSense labeled products to save customers $13 million on their utility bills.
The Build Your Savings campaign includes a micro website that prominently features WaterSense labeled products and provides users with an informative home audit tool, which calculates the savings potential of switching to water- and energy-efficient products. In stores, the company issued more than 960,000 Build Your Savings Guides, which also included valuable information on WaterSense. It supported the new campaign with extensive in-store signage and announcements to increase consumer awareness of the water, energy, and monetary savings associated with using labeled products.
To ensure integration of WaterSense in all departments, Lowe's focused on educating its more than 238,000 employees in its 1,700 North American stores with information on WaterSense messaging. The company used online trainings and encouraged its employees to try the labeled products for themselves, adding valuable perspective to the staff serving the company's 15 million customers each week. In 2009, Lowe's supported tax-free events in Louisiana and Virginia for WaterSense labeled products and joined forces with fellow 2009 WaterSense Partner of the Year Kohler Co. to offer customers online coupons for 10 percent off their labeled product purchases. In addition to these local events, Lowe's publicized WaterSense in national and local television spots, circulars, magazine ads, and online.
2010 Manufacturer Partner:
Plumbing fixture manufacturer Moen pulled out all the stops in 2009 to promote WaterSense and increase the number of labeled products in the marketplace. In fact, Moen earned the WaterSense label for 100 percent of its new bathroom faucets in 2009. But that's not all: Moen, its multifamily brand, and its luxury brand upgraded all existing faucet models to earn the WaterSense label too. Together, the company's three brands now offer nine times more WaterSense labeled faucets than were available in 2008. The faucets are available in a wide range of prices, making them affordable for most consumers.
Moen used WaterSense partner materials to promote its WaterSense labeled products and water efficiency on media tours to the Today show and in publications from Good Housekeeping and Elle Décor to Handy Magazine and Fine Homebuilding. Moen showcased its ShowHouse WaterSense labeled faucets at the Eco Luxe Media event, educating more than 200 reporters about WaterSense. The manufacturer also worked with Tom Kraeutler from The Money Pit, a national home improvement radio show, to promote WaterSense savings to more than 25 million listeners in the top 50 U.S. media markets.
In addition to a strong media presence and promotion of WaterSense on packaging, in catalogs, and online, Moen highlighted WaterSense labeled products at trade shows and made them discussion topics in an online forum for builders and remodelers. The forum includes materials such as sell sheets, product photography, and product messaging so builders can easily communicate the benefits of WaterSense labeled products to their customers.
Finally, Moen doesn't just preach water efficiency; the company also practices it. In 2009, Moen reused 70 percent of the water used for product testing and educated its key marketing and sales associates about WaterSense.
2010 Promotional Partner:
Cascade Water Alliance
With only one full-time staff member overseeing water conservation programs, Cascade Water Alliance successfully used its WaterSense partnership to help stretch limited resources and expand into an even more comprehensive water conservation program for its eight member agencies in King County, Washington. Collaborating with local retailers and professionals, Cascade was able to promote WaterSense and the importance of water efficiency to the 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses it serves, without breaking the bank.
Cascade worked with nearly 100 plumbers and prominent retailers including The Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ace Hardware to help make WaterSense a permanent fixture in more than 2,000 households and local businesses. Cascade promoted its toilet rebate program by working closely with these organizations and even filmed an informational video to educate residents about the benefits of WaterSense labeled toilets.
Cascade also recognized the importance of educating consumers at the point of purchase and provided free training for retailer staff; issued point-of-purchase materials; and conducted regular, in-store visits, which helped establish strong relationships and encouraged promotion of the WaterSense label. According to sales staff, some retailers estimated that thanks to Cascade's rebate program, 75 to 90 percent of their toilet sales are WaterSense labeled toilets—up from virtually zero a couple years ago. Ninety-four percent of customers surveyed by Cascade said their new toilets perform as well as or better than their previous models, affirming EPA's performance criteria for WaterSense labeled products. Cascade also collaborated with Seattle Public Utilities to achieve water savings outdoors, offering $50 rebates to consumers hiring primarily WaterSense irrigation partners to install rain sensors.
Cascade also took WaterSense on the road with the WaterSense Road Show—a traveling display that visits public events distributing free water-saving plumbing fixtures and educating residents about using less with WaterSense. During WaterSense's Fix a Leak Week, Cascade distributed more than 100,000 toilet leak detection kits by mail to encourage families to check for leaks and look for the WaterSense label when considering new fixtures. The leak detection kit won the Pacific Northwest Section of the American Water Works Association's Excellence in Communications and Best in Show awards.
2010 Irrigation Partner:
As the founder of Clear Water Products & Services Inc. (Clear Water PSI), a company specializing in irrigation efficiency, Judy Benson's partnership with WaterSense aligned well with her professional mission: to educate others about outdoor water efficiency through the use of efficient systems and techniques.
Specializing in older irrigation system renovations, Ms. Benson and Clear Water PSI have helped central Florida residents and businesses save thousands of gallons. To comply with her company's standard, new irrigation systems must meet or exceed 70 percent distribution uniformity (a measure of how evenly irrigation is applied to a landscape). Ms. Benson also uses remote technology on some larger systems, allowing her to work proactively with clients to manage consumption and save water, while preventing yard damage from malfunctioning equipment.
Ms. Benson, an Irrigation Association certified trainer, saw a need for more education in the irrigation industry, because she felt some aspects can be complicated and therefore misunderstood. She created a working display of irrigation products as a tool for trade events and to show clients how to properly operate their current equipment and demonstrate the newest, most efficient technologies.
As an ambassador for WaterSense in her community, Ms. Benson drew from the WaterSense website and partner tools to ensure that her staff had credible knowledge about outdoor water efficiency. Benson realized the benefits of partnership shortly after joining and even received a contract award partially because one of her WaterSense labeled irrigation certifications. Since then, Benson has made it a priority to incorporate WaterSense into her business and has participated in various WaterSense promotions, such as Fix a Leak Week. She also spoke of incentivizing the use of WaterSense irrigation partners with the local soil and water conservation board, county commissioners, local municipalities, water purveyors, and water management districts.
About the Awards Program
Learn more about the WaterSense Awards Program, including information about past winners.