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Most wastewater administrators, managers and operators are unaware of their energy consumption and, therefore, are managing energy by cost control and not through energy efficiency awareness and knowledge. Utility energy bills are typically received by the utility clerk or treasurer, and are directly paid, without a copy being forwarded to the responsible administrative or operations personnel for review and assessment.

To address this ever-present procedure of not reviewing energy bills, which is being repeated nationally at small, medium and many large facilities, Focus on Energy, an energy efficiency (EE) program in the state of Wisconsin, recognized this inconsistency and developed a separate energy efficient program to address the water/wastewater (W/WW) industry.

The W/WW program has been delivering services to the public and private wastewater treatment facilities in the state of Wisconsin since 2001. The WW industry has been very accepting of learning about EE and the value it brings to their utility. The majority of facilities served to date, nearly 200, have been municipal facilities.

As an initial program research effort, the program decided it was necessary to define, support and fund a research project that would provide insight into identifying EE values that could be considered as baseline energy consumptive values that facilities should target for energyefficient operation. The consultant team that was retained to provide these services blended the knowledge and insight of team members from both the United Kingdom and the United States.

This composition of expertise proved to be valuable. Not only did the team fulfill the contract, but they brought knowledge from both continents together to show the differences in energy consumption to provide the insight that energy consumption in both continents could be equalized. This combination of values, energy consumption in Wisconsin, United States, and Europe provided us with the added opportunity to assess how the values between these regions compared. It was interesting to observe that the European energy consumption was less than that of the United States on the existing operating conditions. Nevertheless, what was more valuable was that the United States' consumption values could be reduced through applying energy efficiency best practices that were reported in Europe.

The paper presents this information and provides insight into the modifications that could be made to the existing United States' facilities to achieve energy consumption levels equivalent to their European counterparts.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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