GWP Has Standards Despite Few Rules

Article originally published in The Columbus Dispatch

In the early 1980s, Harry Apostolos looked at the way apartment owners paid for utilities and he saw a textbook case of market inefficiency.

Most owners paid tenants’ water bills as part of the rent, and that left the residents with no incentive to conserve. Apostolos, who had just earned a master’s degree in economics from Ohio State University, decided to start a business that would provide what he saw as a better option.

“We were able to transmit a price signal that elicited a change in behavior that resulted in a drop in consumption,” he said.

In 1983, he co-founded the company now called Guardian Water & Power. He sold property owners on the idea of “submetering,” which meant he would install meters and handle billing, shifting the cost of the resource to the end user.