Distribution System Energy Optimization from Smart Hydraulic and Electric Utility Billing Modeling


  • Bryan Lisk PE, CEM - Hazen and Sawyer

Numerous water utilities are searching for economically feasible opportunities to reduce operating costs through energy optimization. Many water utilities maintain a calibrated hydraulic model for planning purposes to ensure their water distribution systems have the capacity to meet their customer’s demands while maintaining water quality. In addition to a planning tool, hydraulic modeling can also be a very effective tool to identify and evaluate opportunities to reduce water distribution energy consumption and costs. This presentation will provide an overview of how calibrated hydraulic models for two (2) water utilities were used to identify energy saving opportunities without negatively impacting system pressures, storage volumes, and water quality. Specifically, this presentation will present the following:

  • Provide a general overview of the opportunities to reduce energy usage and costs as well as opportunities to recover energy in water distribution systems. This presentation will describe how hydraulic modeling can be used to identify and evaluate multiple types of energy optimization opportunities.
  • Describe how energy billing structures can impact water distribution energy costs. Electric billing rate structures such as time-of-use and demand rates can be leveraged to reduce energy costs by using storage capacity to reduce demand charges and reduce energy usage during on-peak hours. This presentation will show how hydraulic modeling and electric billing rate modeling can be used together to identify distribution system operating strategies that minimize energy costs while also maintaining water availability and quality.
  • Describe the results for two (2) North Carolina water distribution energy optimization evaluations that used hydraulic modeling and utility billing rate modeling to identify and evaluate multiple energy usage and cost saving opportunities.

For more information, please contact blisk@hazenandsawyer.com.

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Horizons Fall 2017 (pdf)

Horizons showcases significant water, wastewater, reuse, and stormwater projects and innovations that help our clients to achieve their goals, and can help you achieve yours. Articles are written by top engineers and process group leaders, demonstrating and explaining the beneficial application of a variety of technologies and tools.

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