News Feature | April 17, 2014

Energy Project To Save Water Utility $500,000?

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome


A water district in California is the guinea pig in a project that could save $500,000 in energy costs. 

"Honeywell has embarked on a first-of-its-kind project with East Valley Water District (EVWD) that uses a ten-year, $4 million energy performance contract for an energy efficiency and OpenADR demand response project that is expected to deliver more than $500,000 in annual savings," Greentech Media reported

EVWD serves about 100,000 customers in San Bernardino County. Honeywell executives framed the partnership as a big cost saver at a time when water utilities could really use the relief.

Water utilities "just don’t have the money for capital upgrades,” Mike Taylor, a Honeywell official, said in the report. “They’re very interested in anything we can do to guarantee energy savings while upgrading infrastructure.”

Here's how it works: the district "will receive $500,000 from Southern California Edison for joining the utility’s OpenADR program, which uses automated demand response signals sent to participants to shed load," the report said. 

“As a water district, we are pleased to have the opportunity to dramatically reduce our energy use, help our state reach its energy reduction goals and increase system efficiencies for our customers,” said John Mura, CEO and General Manager for East Valley Water District, in a statement. “We take pride in being environmental stewards; this project can help us better manage our water system while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Participating in this effort will provide sorely-needed infrastructure for the district. 

"As part of the program, Honeywell will improve the district’s infrastructure by replacing older, inefficient water pumps with high-efficiency models and modifying pumping schedules so water reserves are replenished only during off-peak utility hours. The same controls that manage pumping schedules will be able to coordinate the ADR-related changes as well," Energy Manager Today reported

The so-called "nexus" between energy and water is an increasingly high-profile area of focus for the public and private sectors. As the EPA puts it, "There are significant societal and environmental benefits to be derived from improving coordination between the two sectors."

Image credit: "Money!," yomanimus © 2006, used under an Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic license:

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