Franchise Opportunities in San Jose, CA

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Baby Boomers and The Need for An Independent Lifestyle

Statistics show that most baby boomers have a strong desire to remain independent as they age. These hardworking Americans are turning their noses up at the idea of spending their golden years in a strange nursing home. They have an unshakeable yearning to live life at home as long as possible. This factor, combined with advances in modern medicine that are helping seniors live longer, has set the stage for more home care franchise opportunities than ever before.

Millions of Americans Need Home Care Right Now

Research by the University of Alabama shows that more than seven million people in the U.S. need some form of home care. This fact is bolstered by the rising trend of "aging in place." Seniors not only want to be self-sufficient - they wish to remain at home, where the surroundings are familiar and family is near. Always Best Care nurtures this need by providing quality in-home care that helps both the seniors in need and their families.

When you implement Always Best Care's proven business model, your senior care franchise in San Jose, CA will become a pillar in your community. You will be part of a highly regarded, reputable organization that others will respect. While you refine your reputation and earn respect, you'll be living an entrepreneurial lifestyle that lets you make a difference in other people's lives.

Recession Resistant, Essential, and Rewarding

Great entrepreneurs are always on the lookout for recession-resistant franchising opportunities. In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, in-home care is now an essential service -- one that will continue to be needed, regardless of the economy. No matter what hurdles we must overcome, one thing is for sure: people will always need care.

At Always Best Care, our proven franchise model enables hundreds of dedicated franchisees the opportunity to achieve financial freedom in the most uncertain times. Our award-winning training program provides franchisees with the tools to succeed and the stability they need.

Always Best Care is one of the fastest-growing senior care franchise systems because our franchisees are more than just business owners, they are compassionate professionals dedicated to helping others. Perhaps most importantly, their home care business lets them care for people in their community while building a rewarding business for themselves.

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Corporate Support

Our experienced corporate team works with new in-home care franchise owners to provide comprehensive training for you and your staff, marketing resources, performance metrics, turnkey operating tech, systemwide benchmarking, national accounts, and customer satisfaction support.

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Local Support

Your local Area Representative and our National Directors work with all new franchisees to arrange mentoring opportunities, communications and team-building strategies, and ongoing strategic planning. That way, you have a leg up in your market and access to key resources to build your confidence as you develop your business.

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Assistance with State Licensing

Your Always Best Care franchise development specialist will make sure you have contact information in your state to complete any state licensure requirements. We link you to the nation's top health care licensure consultants, thus allowing you to discover the most cost-effective and time-efficient procedures to get your license, launch your business, and begin serving your community.

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Exclusive, Protected Territories

Each Always Best Care franchise territory is protected and exclusive to you using zip codes in your state.

Our powerful combination of corporate and local support paves a clear and proven path for new Always Best Care franchise owners to succeed. And with your initial training, field training, and ongoing support, you always have access to Always Best Care repesentatives as you grow your senior home care business.

Get Started on Your Journey

If you have made it this far, it's now time to learn more about Always Best Care and the enriching opportunity that lies ahead. If you are ready to turn your dreams of living an entrepreneurial lifestyle into reality, you're closer than ever before. By downloading our free E-Book , you're taking the exciting next steps towards building a home care business that makes a true difference in your community.

Learn More About this Opportunity

Latest News in San Jose, CA

San Jose Spotlight: Santa Clara County Officials Request State Audit Of Vta

San Jose SpotlightA California legislator fighting to change the leadership of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is shifting tactics in the wake of public pushback.Assemblymember Marc Berman announced Monday he is not advancing Assembly Bill 2181 this year, which would eliminate VTA's board of directors on or after July 2023 and shrink the board from 18 to 12 members, at least six of whom would be private citizens instead of elected officials. Berman told San Jose Spotlight he's requesting a state audit of the pub...

San Jose Spotlight

A California legislator fighting to change the leadership of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is shifting tactics in the wake of public pushback.

Assemblymember Marc Berman announced Monday he is not advancing Assembly Bill 2181 this year, which would eliminate VTA's board of directors on or after July 2023 and shrink the board from 18 to 12 members, at least six of whom would be private citizens instead of elected officials. Berman told San Jose Spotlight he's requesting a state audit of the public transit agency's governance structure, fiscal management and project planning.

Berman's bill--his second piece of VTA reform legislation in two years--advanced out of the Assembly just weeks ago with a strong 69-2 passage. It's unclear how it would have been received in the state Senate, but there's been recent opposition on the local level, including from VTA officials. Earlier this month, the transit agency's board voted unanimously to oppose Berman's legislation.

The state lawmaker said he pivoted to an audit after dozens of conversations with public officials and transit advocates who want VTA to change, but don't agree on how to accomplish this goal. He said the audit will provide guidance for local stakeholders on how to improve the agency.

"They need to have these conversations and they need to come up with a proposal themselves to really address the substantive issues around stability, around transparency, around making sure there's relevant expertise on the board and around trying to create a structure that incentivizes a more regional approach," Berman said.

Berman has repeatedly raised concerns about VTA's governance structure, which he claims has been unable to resolve high operating costs, poor service and low fare recovery. Berman has also cited a 2019 civil grand jury report that identified problems with the board structure, including lack of expertise and continuity in VTA's leadership.

San Jose Vice Mayor and VTA Chair Chappie Jones expressed support for Berman's audit request in a joint statement on Monday. Jones, who did not respond to a request for comment, said this is an opportunity for VTA to get data to "propose timely reforms rooted in thorough analysis and evaluation of best practices."

Monica Mallon, a transit advocate and San Jose Spotlight columnist, has been a staunch opponent of Berman's reform efforts, and she doesn't see the purpose of an audit.

"The impact is really just wasting time or energy that could have been better spent saving transit or improving it," Mallon told San Jose Spotlight. "It takes a lot of time from staff and elected officials to deal with this."

Elected officials in several cities filed letters opposing Berman's legislation, including Mountain View, Palo Alto and Cupertino.

Mallon argued an audit is unnecessary because VTA officials haven't done anything illegal. Others support Berman's proposals because they'd like to see change in VTA's leadership structure.

Eugene Bradley, founder of Silicon Valley Transit Users, said he's concerned about VTA board members, whose priorities as local elected officials sometimes conflict with the agency's transit goals.

"How do the two (positions) reconcile?" Bradley said. "That's what I'd be interested in seeing."

Former state Sen. Jim Beall, who previously served on the VTA board, said Santa Clara County has historically been poorly represented in regional transit bodies like the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He said Berman's bill would put non-elected officials on VTA's board, which may have raised concerns about whether the agency would be able to effectively lobby for resources.

"If we have good representation in the county, on a long-term basis, VTA has a better chance of responding to the community and getting the community involved," Beall told San Jose Spotlight.

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Season opener rescheduled to a Thursday night for San Jose State football

To misquote the theme song for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, San Jose State football fans can wait all summer for a Thursday night, because the 2022 season will begin two days earlier than originally planned.On Tuesday, the season opening home game against Portland State was rescheduled to September 1 at 7:30 p.m. (PT), announced San Jose State.When the football schedule was originally released February 16, the Portland State game was listed for Saturday, September 3. However, by late April, San Jose State began t...

To misquote the theme song for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, San Jose State football fans can wait all summer for a Thursday night, because the 2022 season will begin two days earlier than originally planned.

On Tuesday, the season opening home game against Portland State was rescheduled to September 1 at 7:30 p.m. (PT), announced San Jose State.

When the football schedule was originally released February 16, the Portland State game was listed for Saturday, September 3. However, by late April, San Jose State began talks to move the game to September 1, as first reported May 7 by John Canzano in his Bald Faced Truth online newsletter.

San Jose State agreed to pay Portland State $435,000 to visit CEFCU Stadium, reported Canzano, a sports reporter and talk show host in Portland, Oregon. The two schools were negotiating a rescheduling fee in May. According to Canzano, Portland State requested $85,000, but San Jose State offered $10,000.

This scheduling move continues a pattern of moving Labor Day weekend home games to Thursdays under previous athletics directors Gene Bleymaier and Marie Tuite. Maximizing student attendance is one likely reason, because many students do not have Friday classes and thus leave campus for the holiday weekend.

Some early season Thursday night games have had mixed results. The 2013 season opener, a 24-0 shutout of Sacramento State on August 29, had an official attendance of 13,136, nearly 20 percent higher than the 10,789 home average of 2012. But the August 29, 2014 season opener, a 42-10 win vs. North Dakota, had the worst home attendance that season at 10,371.

On September 3, 2015, San Jose State opened the season dominating New Hampshire 43-13. The official attendance was 15,198, nearly as much as the 2014 average home attendance of 15,068. However, the 2019 home opener had just 13,480 in the stands to see a 35-18 win vs. Northern Colorado, down from the 2018 average home attendance of 14,255.

No TV broadcast has been announced yet. However, the most likely outlet will be either of the Bay Area’s local sports cable channels, NBC Sports Bay Area or NBC Sports California. Last year, one of the first actions by athletics director Jeff Konya was to sign a media rights deal between San Jose State and those channels. NBC Sports Bay Area broadcast last year’s home game vs. New Mexico State.

The channels are the primary broadcast partners of the Bay Area’s MLB teams: NBC Sports Bay Area for the San Francisco Giants and NBC Sports California for the Oakland A’s. On September 1, the Giants have a bye and A’s have a day game, meaning that both channels will have available broadcast time that evening for the San Jose State game.

COMMENTS

Both San Jose State and Portland State have experienced head coaches. Brent Brennan is entering his sixth season at San Jose State, and Bruce Barnum will be in his eighth at Portland State.

Last season, San Jose State was 5-7 (4-4 Mountain West) and Portland State 5-6 (4-4 Big Sky).

The best (and worst) bites at the Bay Area's Eataly Italian marketplace

“I’m going to keep it I think,” a man with thick, black frames enthusiastically told his friend.Last Thursday, I stood outside Westfield’s Valley Fair Mall in San Jose among a massive crowd of food enthusiasts who were all eagerly anticipating the grand opening of the Bay Area’s first Eataly Italian marketplace. The man with the thick ...

“I’m going to keep it I think,” a man with thick, black frames enthusiastically told his friend.

Last Thursday, I stood outside Westfield’s Valley Fair Mall in San Jose among a massive crowd of food enthusiasts who were all eagerly anticipating the grand opening of the Bay Area’s first Eataly Italian marketplace. The man with the thick frames was safeguarding a plastic water cup stamped with an Eataly logo that he received from an employee who attempted to cool down the dedicated masses enduring the sweltering heat. No one, including myself, seemed to mind the hot temperatures though — we’re all too consumed by our excitement to explore the three-story food hall that’s stocked with imported Italian goods.

As someone who considers herself an avid pasta consumer, the grand opening of Eataly was just the type of attraction I had been waiting for all spring. Nearly 10 years ago on a trip to visit my sister, I walked into the Eataly store in Chicago and was blown away by the market. Eataly was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, with hundreds of products that were mostly foreign to me. I felt as if I had been transported to Italy as I admired the elegant packaging and awkwardly posed for photos near the olive oil section. It was magical.

In many ways, Eataly is an attraction in its own right, which was exactly why I found myself waiting in line among the impassioned crowd. If my visit to the Eataly store in Chicago was any indication, I knew that what was in store at the massive emporium was going to be well worth it.

As the clock inched closer to the 5 p.m. opening, the crowd began counting down from 10 until the doors finally unlocked and guests were given free range to roam this freshly minted artisanal food destination. The interior was even better than I had imagined. Pizza Alla Pala, a Roman pizzeria, is front and center with an impressive display of colorful pizzas by the slice. Next to Pizza Alla Pala are three other counters that offer coffee, Italian pastries and cakes, as well as a gelato section tucked in the back corner of the first floor.

The second level gave way to a selection of about 1,000 Italian wines and spirits, while the massive third floor housed dozens of Italian products, like vast wheels of Parmesan cheese and dried pastas. There’s also two sit-down restaurants: Terra and La Pizza & La Pasta. After scoping the scene and taking mental notes, I decided to head back down to the first floor to check out the grab-and-go options.

Unlike the Chicago store I had visited years ago, the San Jose marketplace had an even wider selection of grab-and-go items that both astonished me and piqued my curiosity. How many of Eataly’s entrees were truly worthwhile, I wondered? Here’s what I tasted during my Eataly excursion and whether or not this trip lived up to my expectations.

Soppressata

Going in, I knew that I wanted to get some suggestions from the staff working behind the counter. It was tough limiting myself to just two slices of pizza, especially when the choices included margherita, zucchini flower, mushroom and plenty others. Upon asking for a recommendation, a staffer was quick to suggest the soppressata slice ($8.90). The pizza was topped with spicy salami, chunks of mozzarella, a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey and a dash of parsley. Though not particularly spicy, the pizza delivered a kick and was a great starting point to the other selections available. I’m a sucker for classic pepperoni pizza, so this slice was a true winner in my book.

Capricciosa

As I moved down the pizza counter, I couldn’t help but notice the slices that had massive burrata cheese rounds as a topping. The capricciosa ($9.90) was recommended, and described as a combo-style pizza. The thick, square slice married thinly sliced pieces of mortadella, mushrooms, Kalamata olives, artichoke, basil and, of course, burrata on a crunchy crust that was lightly coated with marinara sauce. I was most excited to try this slice, but was sorely disappointed when I discovered that the overall flavor profile was muted after several bites. Somehow, not a single ingredient stood out and it left me feeling as if I had made a rookie mistake by selecting one of the showier options. Sadly, the capricciosa was my least favorite.

Customers shop and dine on a wide variety of fare, such as focaccia coppa, upper left, at Pizza Alla Pala on the first floor of Eataly at the Westfield Valley Fair shopping mall in San Jose on Thursday, June 16, 2022. (Adam Pardee/Special to SFGATE)

Focaccia coppa

I would drive back to Eataly just for this item alone. Of the handful of dishes I had during my visit, I didn’t anticipate that a focaccia sandwich ($12.90) would be among the best things I tasted. With each bite, I was blown away by how every flavor stood out on its own. The sandwich, which was a popular recommendation by a staffer, combines layers of cured meat, Italian soft cheese, artichokes and mint on soft sesame focaccia. The sandwich wasn’t necessarily large, but the sheer amount of stacked meat makes it quite filling. If you’re hoping to visit Eataly soon, do yourself a favor and order this sandwich. You won’t regret it.

Insalata caprese

Just as I was about to pay, a classic caprese salad ($11.90) caught my attention at the 11th hour and I promptly added it to my tab. The sweet salad has long been a favorite of mine with its perfect combination of mozzarella cheese, basil and tomatoes. The Eataly version was prepared with mini mozzarella balls and cherry tomatoes, rather than heirloom. Alas, the salad was not as stellar as I hoped it would be. Personally, I blame it one the choice of using cherry tomatoes, which just weren’t sweet enough. Look, I get heirloom tomatoes aren’t always in season, but I think Eataly did this superior salad a huge disservice by substituting a second-rate tomato for a great one, but I digress. The caprese salad certainly wasn’t as big a flop as the capricciosa pizza slice, but it wasn’t something I would go stand in line for again.

Gelato

Next, I found myself by the gelato counter after a short pause to watch a skilled mozzarella worker on the third-floor form dozens of cheese rounds within seconds. He was in a tiny square glass room called the “Mozzarella Lab” and he had attracted a small crowd. Customers surrounded the structure as if observing a fish tank, though the worker never seemed to notice his audience. Afterward, I headed downstairs to Il Gelato, where an instrumental version of “Moon River” quietly played in the background. The menu offered a range of gelato flavors such as banana, chocolate, hazelnut, strawberry and more. I ordered a medium cup ($6.90) of two flavors: pistachio and crema (egg custard). The soft ice cream combination worked well, though I don’t think the flavors I chose stood out as much as I hoped they would. Oddly, the pistachio gelato had a single, lonely pistachio in it, making me wonder if I’d find another with a following scoop. Regretfully, it seemed to be a one-off.

Tiramisu

After sampling many of the savory options downstairs, I spotted a customer cradling a tiramisu container and asked where I could find one. “Third floor. It’s the best thing here,” he said. He wasn’t entirely wrong. I had a good feeling about the tiramisu once I made it to the third level and spotted a group of customers surrounding the refrigerator where packaged cases of the classic dessert rested. The tiramisu container ($15.90) is large enough to share with three people (if you so choose to anyway). Since it was in a perfect takeout container, I decided to take the dessert back home for a late-night treat. That evening, I grabbed a spoon and sunk it into the thick layer of cocoa -dusted mascarpone cream and the espresso-soaked lady fingers. After a long day of sampling savory meals, the tiramisu was the perfect way to end an exciting trip to Eataly. Despite the caprese salad snafu and a one-note capricciosa pizza slice, the tiramisu and the soppressata pizza made the overall experience truly enjoyable.

Eataly is like a theme park. You can’t try everything in a day. I hope to find my way back through the grab-and-go section soon, not just for the delicious focaccia coppa, but to try the beautiful array of dishes still left on my radar.

Little Progress Made To Protect San Jose Mobile Homes

After two years of waiting, San Jose mobile homeowners say the city reneged on a promise to give them more protection.June 20, 2022After two years of waiting, San Jose mobile homeowners say the city reneged on a promise to give them more protection.The San Jose City Council in March 2020 unanimously approved a plan to put all 58 mobile home properties under the same land use designation—but only two sites have received the new layer of protection, officials said last week, leaving the remaining 56 properties in l...

After two years of waiting, San Jose mobile homeowners say the city reneged on a promise to give them more protection.

June 20, 2022

After two years of waiting, San Jose mobile homeowners say the city reneged on a promise to give them more protection.

The San Jose City Council in March 2020 unanimously approved a plan to put all 58 mobile home properties under the same land use designation—but only two sites have received the new layer of protection, officials said last week, leaving the remaining 56 properties in limbo. For the next fiscal year budget, the city has also reduced the original budget of $381,000 for the land redesignation to less than 8%, or about $30,000.

The new land use designation—mobile home park—limits housing density to 25 homes per acre and only permits mobile homes and amenities such as clubhouses, community rooms, pools and other common areas. The designation also requires the City Council to approve any requests to close a park or convert it for alternative uses, making it difficult for developers to swoop in with high-density, market-rate housing.

Mobile homeowners—the majority of whom are seniors living on fixed income and low-income families—said the lack of progress is a betrayal.

"They promised to do this in 2020," a housing advocate told San José Spotlight. "(Mayor) Sam Liccardo sat up there and said, 'I'm voting yes on this to give you peace of mind,' then we were betrayed."

The advocate requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation after a few city officials claimed residents spread misinformation at a meeting. A mobile homeowner who spoke to San José Spotlight after the meeting said others shared the same concerns of retaliation.

City officials said the lack of progress in changing the designation stemmed from insufficient funding and a shortage of workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Liccardo, who turned down several councilmembers' pleas to fully fund the project last week, said the city made no promises, despite voting yes on the plan in 2020. He said prioritizing the initiative would delay progress on other affordable housing projects.

"The City Council knows how to make a promise—that's by saying that they're making a promise, or by signing a contract. The council didn't do either of those things on March 10, 2020," Rachel Davis, Liccardo's spokesperson, told San José Spotlight.

City officials said changing the land use designation for all parks would not add more protection, noting San Jose added a number of other protections such as a program to provide displaced mobile homeowners relocation benefits and other compensation for their houses in 2016.

The remaining 56 parks are already zoned under low-density housing designations that allow up to eight homes per acre, Deputy City Manager Rosalynn Hughey told San José Spotlight. The city cannot stop owners from selling their properties, but any plans to convert a park needs the City Council's approval under current rules.

But residents at mobile home parks still want San Jose to fulfill the commitment it made to them years ago.

Dozens of residents from at least six mobile home parks sent letters ahead of last week's meeting urging the City Council to fully fund the initiative. Roughly 100 residents at Pepper Tree Estates Mobile Home Park also signed a petition to support the efforts.

"We are asking the mayor and all the (councilmembers) to finish what they unanimously voted to accomplish two years ago," the petition reads.

A community commitment

Mobile home parks are considered one of the last remaining affordable housing options in the heart of wealthy Silicon Valley—a region where the housing crisis continues to rage on and the homeless population has exploded in the last few years.

The issue highlights the challenge for San Jose to balance preserving its existing affordable housing and creating new homes, Councilmember Pam Foley told San José Spotlight. Foley, along with Councilmembers Sergio Jimenez and Raul Peralez, advocated for the mobile home park land use designation change to be fully funded.

"I was disappointed and a little frustrated," Foley said, referring to the slow progress. "I understand we are short staffed, but we made a commitment to our community and we need to fulfill our commitment."

San Jose is working on identifying the most high-risk mobile home parks, with plans to report back to the city's Community and Economic Development Committee later this year, city officials said. Foley said it's her goal to get the land use designation change for all mobile home parks in the next two years.

"We'll be moving forward," Foley said. "I'm committed to doing the work that we need to do to give our mobile homeowners' peace of mind back."

A years-long fight for protection

San Jose, one of the most expensive places to live in the country, has more than 11,000 mobile homes and 35,000 people living in its parks, according to the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

Many fear mobile home parks have become easy targets for redevelopment in recent years, as residents own their homes but not the land they sit on—leaving few options if property owners decide to sell the land.

Efforts to protect these homes in San Jose started nearly a decade ago, when residents at the Winchester Ranch Mobile Home Park faced displacement. The Cali-Arioto family, who owned the land, wanted to sell the 15.7-acre site to housing developer PulteGroup. The developer wanted to construct luxury housing, Nadia Aziz, housing directing attorney at the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, told San José Spotlight. The foundation worked with the homeowners throughout their years-long fight.

As more than 100 senior residents of the Winchester Ranch park protested the closure, San Jose established a temporary moratorium on mobile home park closures from 2015 to 2017.

After seven years of dueling, the developer agreed in 2020 to allow the Winchester Ranch homeowners to stay on the property in upgraded condos at the same rates—a win for both the developer and residents.

Months before the pandemic started, the city's largest site—the Westwinds Mobile Home Park on Nicholson Lane in North San Jose—came under threat of closing, which would have displaced more than 1,600 residents on the site.

The threat prompted the City Council to unanimously approve creating a new land use designation to bolster protection for all the mobile home parks—including Westwinds and Mountain Springs because they were considered high risk for redevelopment. They were previously zoned "urban residential," which allows a developer to build up to 95 high-density homes per acre, city officials said.

More than 100 mobile homeowners flooded City Hall in 2020 to advocate for the change.

"It adds another layer of protection because it adds an additional step," Aziz said, referring to the land designation. "It's also important because the City Council is signaling that they value mobile home parks and value having low-income families and seniors stay in San Jose."

Mari Jo Pokriots, who fought for residents at the Winchester Ranch park, said San Jose should do everything to protect mobile home residents.

"These are people who clean houses, work in grocery stores or in our cases, who are seniors," Pokriots told San José Spotlight. "I feel absolutely saddened that they did not stick to their own words."

Contact Tran Nguyen at [email protected] or follow @nguyenntrann on Twitter.

San José Spotlight is the city's first nonprofit news organization dedicated to independent political and business reporting. Please support our public service journalism by clicking here.

California drought: ‘Smart’ water meters coming to San Jose, other Bay Area cities in latest effort to boost conservation

You’ve got a smart phone. Maybe a smart watch. Or even a smart doorbell.In the coming months and years as California struggles with worsening droughts, millions of Bay Area residents will soon be getting a smart water meter.Water meters — the clunky brass devices that sit in underground boxes near the sidewalks outside most homes and businesses, measuring water use — have been around since the 1820s. But in many areas, utilities only send out water bills every two months, or maybe once a month.That mean...

You’ve got a smart phone. Maybe a smart watch. Or even a smart doorbell.

In the coming months and years as California struggles with worsening droughts, millions of Bay Area residents will soon be getting a smart water meter.

Water meters — the clunky brass devices that sit in underground boxes near the sidewalks outside most homes and businesses, measuring water use — have been around since the 1820s. But in many areas, utilities only send out water bills every two months, or maybe once a month.

That means unless residents go out, lift the heavy concrete lid and carefully check the numbers on their analog water meter, most people don’t know how much water they are using, or until weeks have gone by, whether they have a major leak from their irrigation system, old pipes or toilets, which can waste thousands of gallons of water and run up their bill.

Smart meters instead send wireless signals in real time so residents and utilities can better track water use hourly, daily or weekly, making it easier to hit conservation targets and detect leaks.

“We are trying to get our customers over the ignorance-is-bliss mentality to the knowledge-is-power mentality,” said Nelsy Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for the East Bay Municipal Utility District, which provides water to 1.4 million people in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

San Francisco installed smart water meters in 2014 during California’s last drought. Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City have them. But smart meters are expensive to install. The technology changes every year. Some utilities have been reluctant to take the plunge.

As California’s latest drought stretches into its third year, water supplies continue to tighten and state conservation rules increase, so a growing number of water agencies are deciding to upgrade.

On Friday, the San Jose Water Company, a private firm that provides water to 1 million people in San Jose, Cupertino, Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, received final approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to install smart meter technology on the 230,000 water meters at homes and businesses in its service area.

Work on the $100 million project will begin in two years and will finish in 2026, with the average water bill going up about $5 a month to pay for it, company officials say.

The company ran a pilot project in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood and found homes with the technology cut water use 7% on average, and the duration of leaks fell 38%.

“It went well,” said Liann Walborsky, a San Jose Water spokeswoman. “The customers who were in the pilot really enjoyed that they were able to see their water usage, and we saw results in conservation.”

To the east, the Alameda County Water District, which serves Fremont, Union City and Newark, is spending $41 million to upgrade its 86,500 meters by 2023. It already has finished 17,500, said spokeswoman Sharene Gonzales.

To the north, the Marin Municipal Water District is moving forward with plans to replace its 58,000 analog meters over three years at a cost ranging from $20 million to $25 million.

And East Bay MUD has installed smart meter technology on about 19,000 homes and businesses. The district’s board, based in Oakland, is scheduled to decide in September whether to expand the program.

“Just about every utility I know has a full smart meter system, or is investigating it, or is in the process of deploying it,” said Dave Wallenstein, an associate engineer with East Bay MUD.

The technology is not without controversy. When Pacific Gas & Electric installed smart gas and electricity meters across Northern California a decade ago, a small but vocal group of protesters fought the idea. They raised concerns about privacy and potential health risks.

In 2011, the California Council on Science and Technology, which advises state government on technology issues, concluded the radio frequency emissions from smart meters were well within federal safety standards for cellphones and microwave ovens.

Still, most agencies, including PG&E, allow customers to opt-out. Walborsky said San Jose Water will do that when specific plans are finished in the next two years and installation begins.

For people who already track their electricity use closely or watch their gas mileage in real time while driving, a smart water meter is another tool to “geek out” on, say some experts. Most systems, like San Francisco’s, allow people to log on to a website and track their water use. Some have smart phone apps. Some send text messages when there are big spikes in water use.

“I remember a project I was working on in Coachella Valley where somebody had a really high water bill,” said Lon House, a veteran energy and water consultant who works in Arizona and California. “They got irate. The water company said, ‘You used a lot of water in this particular week.’ They said, ‘Oh yeah, we went on a trip and left the hose running.’ ”

On privacy, as part of its approval from the state PUC, San Jose Water and its contractors are required to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act and not transmit specific information, such as customer names or bill payment status, over the wireless network.

Some East Coast utilities have installed smart meters to cut down on labor costs. With wireless signals sent from meters directly, they no longer need employees to manually read the meters.

Some water experts say that as climate change continues to heat up the already arid West, nearly every city will have smart water meters, which also can detect large leaks in distribution pipes and, in some cases, more easily locate people who are watering lawns over the limited number of days in droughts.

“In a drought, a utility can either say, ‘You can never water your grass again,’ or you can say, ‘Here’s how much water you can use, you decide when you use it and how you use it,’ ” House said. “It’s a two-edged sword. It can be a bludgeon from the government, or it can be enabling for customers. But given what California is facing, they have to do this.”

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