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Energy Savings through Performance Contracting at Wastewater Treatment Plants

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The cost of energy has become an increasing concern to water and wastewater utilities. Economic drivers, combined with general industry concerns about energy supply reliability, climate change, and sustainability have encouraged many utilities to consider alternative project delivery methods to finance desired energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. One such alternative delivery method is the Energy Performance Contract.

Energy performance contracting has been applied most actively by Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) to implement building efficiency improvements at institutional facilities: universities, schools, hospitals, and government buildings. It has been only within the past five years that municipal water and wastewater utilities began using this alternative delivery method to implement energy efficiency improvements at their treatment plants.

This paper provides an overview of energy performance contracting and the ESCO market. It also presents a case study from a municipal wastewater utility in Virginia that is utilizing energy performance contracting to implement energy efficiency projects: the Upper Occoquan Service Authority in Centreville, VA.
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Keywords: ESCO; Energy performance contracting; alternative delivery; energy conservation methods; energy efficiency; municipal utilities; renewable energy; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-01-01

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