08 Dec OWASA’s Energy Management Plan Reduces Environmental Impact and Saves Money
OWASA is continuing to build on a decade’s worth of energy management work that resulted in avoiding over $565,000 in electricity and natural gas costs just in the last fiscal year.
The OWASA Board of Directors approved the latest version of the Energy Management Plan in November. This plan furthers OWASA’s work to reducing our use of electricity and natural gas while also embedding energy in our decision-making across our operations.
Effectively operating our water, wastewater, and reclaimed water facilities and providing high-quality services to the community is an energy-intensive process. OWASA’s Board of Directors in 2014 identified energy management as a top strategic priority in order to lower costs and reduce the impact OWASA’s operations have on the environment. Using 2010 as a baseline, OWASA has reduced purchased electricity use by 29% and reduced purchased natural gas by 28%.
OWASA is installing three solar arrays to bring us closer to meeting the Energy Management Plan’s identified goal of reducing purchased electricity use by a total of 35% from the 2010 baseline by 2022. OWASA has surpassed the original goal for reducing natural gas use in large part by bringing the biogas-to-boiler system back online. Restoring this system lowered the cost of purchased natural gas by $40,000 in 2020 compared to 2010.
As goals set in 2014 are surpassed or nearing completion, OWASA is looking forward to the next chapter in the Energy Management Program to ensure we continue to identify, evaluate, and pursue strategies that have potential to further reduce our energy use through conservation and cost-effective investments.