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Energy Efficiency in the Water Industry

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While there have been energy efficiency programs targeting the water & wastewater utility industry, implementation of energy efficiency has been uneven within the industry. The water & wastewater utility industry faces a number of challenges when implementing energy efficiency measures due, in part, to its capital intensive nature and the interaction of public interests on water treatment. Because of these capital limitations many water & wastewater utilities have not invested in their infrastructure and water delivery assets in as many as thirty years, with the result that many water & wastewater utilities are currently served by aging and sometimes inefficient equipment.

As water becomes scarcer due to drought conditions in some parts of the United States and water treatment regulations become more stringent and energy–intensive, improving efficiency in water and energy use will become indispensible for water and wastewater utility managers and end use customers across a variety of economic sectors.

This paper will provide valuable insights into the Watergy approach to tackle the issues and opportunities faced by water and wastewater utilities. Based on a successful Watergy project at a utility in Pennsylvania that improved energy efficiency at several pumping stations and waste water treatment plants, other water & wastewater utilities and municipalities will learn how they can implement similar projects and achieve significant water and energy efficiency gains, thereby addressing both water scarcity and energy costs simultaneously. This paper will also help funding entities design programs that take into account the unique characteristics of the water utility industry. The authors conclude with policy and technical recommendations for future energy efficiency efforts in the water and waste water industry.
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Keywords: Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority; Energy efficiency; Watergy; energy efficiency financing; water and wastewater utilities; water efficiency

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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