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Water: Sustainable Infrastructure

Cutting Your Energy Usage and Costs

Environmental Management

Environmental management systems (EMS) involve a set of management processes and procedures that allow an organization to analyze and reduce the environmental impact of its activities. EPA has developed a step-by-step workbook to help utilities use an EMS approach to reduce energy use at water and wastewater facilities and is holding a number of workshops to promote the approach.

Best Energy Practices

Once you know your baseline energy use and where you are consuming the most energy, you can identify and prioritize energy conservation opportunities. These opportunities are often easily achievable and involve implementation of best industry practices for energy management.  

Case Studies

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  • EPA's Office of Water is conducting a series of energy management workshops around the country to help water sector utilities develop energy management programs, using EPA's Energy Management Guide for Wastewater and Water Utilities. For details on these workshops, please see EPA's Final Energy Management Highlight Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 164 KB).

  • The ENERGY STAR program recently added wastewater and drinking water treatment facilities to the suite of facilities addressed under its Portfolio Manager Exit EPA Disclaimer , an interactive energy management tool that can be used to track and assess energy and water consumption. The tool can help a utility set targets for investment priorities, verify efficiency improvements, and calculate its carbon footprint. ENERGY STAR offers free, online training to help get you started. No travel, no lost time out of the office, and no cost. EPA makes it easy to get the information you need today.

Paying for Energy Efficiency Improvements

  • EPA's Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) serve as an important source of financing for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Equipment upgrades to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use are eligible for funding from these programs.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. DSIRE provides information about energy incentives, tools, and resources in each state.

  • Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Exit EPA Disclaimer
    This FEMP Web page provides information on incentives, by state, regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

  • Industrial Technologies Program - State Incentives and Resources Programs Exit EPA Disclaimer
    The States Incentives and Resources Database provides information about energy incentives, tools, and resources in each state.

  • How to Finance Public Sector Energy Efficiency Projects Exit EPA Disclaimer 

State Efforts to Promote Energy Efficiency

States are beginning to develop programs to assist public water systems and wastewater treatment facilities to better manage their energy use.
  • Massachusetts - Energy Management Pilot for Wastewater and Drinking Water Plants Exit EPA Disclaimer

  • Wisconsin - The Energy Center of Wisconsin developed a report that looked at energy use at drinking water facilities, which included information on steps facilities can take to reduce their energy use. The state public service commission has a link to the final report Exit EPA Disclaimer .

  • New York - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority  Exit EPA Disclaimer offers financial assistance to municipalities to identify opportunities and install new equipment for energy-efficiency upgrades in their water and wastewater treatment facilities. Some projects include benchmarking of energy performance, 50:50 cost shares for energy assessments by pre-qualified consultants, and the installation of sub-metering equipment to determine the energy consumption of the various processes within the facility.

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