1.3 Energy Efficiency

A utility has the responsibility to its customers to deliver service at the lowest possible cost and with the least impact to the environment. Water and wastewater utilities require large amounts of energy to operate, and energy represents the largest controllable cost in a utility's budget. An enhanced, comprehensive Asset Management program that incorporates energy efficiency and greenhouse gas or carbon footprint reduction goals will be a much more effective tool than either an Asset Management Program or Energy Efficiency Management by themselves. Including energy efficiency objectives within an Asset Management program makes sounds business sense, is environmentally responsible, and contributes to the sustainability of the community.

... starting an Asset Management Program, I would definitely try to correlate energy management into that program.
--Russell Batzel, St. Peters, MO


A complete inventory of each asset and its respective functionality, including its energy use and environmental impacts, will allow the utility to make operational decisions based not just on asset life-cycle but also on that asset's impact on the utility's overall energy efficiency plan. An asset that is not performing optimally will almost always have a negative impact on energy efficiency. While energy efficiency programs generally focus on utility components that are connected to a power source, a comprehensive Asset Management program considers the total cost and energy impact of asset use. This will include assets that, through under-performance, may waste energy in ways that are not directly measured at the power meter. For example, a leaking pipe that wastes water is also wasting the energy used to pump and treat that water prior to entering the pipe. And whatever wastes energy will likely waste money, and increasingly so as energy costs inevitably rise.

When we have the opportunity to incorporate energy efficiency, we wanted to do that.
--Steve Hunt, Columbia, MO


With the growing emphasis on energy conservation and environmental impact, it is crucial for utilities to incorporate these important factors into operational strategies. Incorporating energy evaluations and energy efficiency measures into the Asset Management plan from the outset is an efficient and effective way to take responsible action for energy efficiency as well as operational and financial efficiency.