Strategies to Promote Enrollment in the Madison Customer Assistance Program (MadCAP)

The Madison Customer Assistance Program (MadCAP) aims to offset rising Municipal Service Bills for low-income customers. This report for Madison Water Utility (MWU) uses Herd and Moynihan’s (2018) administrative burdens framework to identify elements of the program that may negatively impact enrollment rates. It then considers literature on other customer assistance programs to present robust recommendations that promote MadCAP enrollment; for instance, MWU can allow applicants to demonstrate income eligibility by providing proof of enrollment in other means-tested assistance programs, such as FoodShare. Additionally, the report examines potential community-wide benefits from water conservation requirements associated with the program and presents a lower bound breakeven enrollment rate estimate for net improvement of MWU customer water affordability. Finally, the report provides a framework for evaluating MadCAP that focuses on assessing outreach efforts.

Policy brief (pdf)


  • Authors: Ethan Dickler, Amber Joshway, Benjamin Mohlke, Sarah Nesci, and Ian O’Connor-Giles
  • Client: Madison Water Utility
  • Course: Spring 2023 Workshop in Public Affairs, PA 869, taught by Manny Teodoro

Download PDF