Demand Management Strategies Resulting in Zero and Low Cost Energy Saving Opportunities

Last Modified: Apr 09, 2013


  • Bryan Lisk - Hazen and Sawyer

Reducing energy costs is rapidly becoming a major priority for water and wastewater utilities. As a result, many water and wastewater utilities are performing energy management audits and evaluations to identify energy saving opportunities that will provide energy benefits at the lowest possible capital cost. Many water and wastewater facilities can realize “zero or low cost” energy saving opportunities through managing their energy demand in coordination with the energy billing rates. This is especially true for facilities whose electric energy rate structures include demand ratcheting and time of use billing. In order for demand management strategies to be effective, the demand management strategy must not have any negative impacts to the treatment process and must be coordinated with the energy billing rate structure(s).

This paper will present multiple “process focused” demand management strategies that were identified from multiple energy management audits performed for multiple water and wastewater treatment facilities. The results of multiple demand management case studies will be presented with an emphasis on demand management strategies that provided a payback period of 1 year or less. Specifically this paper will include the following as a minimum:

• A description of common electric utility rate schedules (i.e. Time of Use, Demand Ratchets, Net Metering) and configurations (i.e. Primary Service, Secondary Service) and how different rate schedules impact the demand management strategies for water and wastewater treatment facilities.

• Typical demand management practices commonly used by water and wastewater utilities including flow equalization, peak shaving, and operations management.

• The role power monitoring capabilities has on the demand management capabilities.

• The results of multiple case studies where “process focused” demand management opportunities were identified as a part of an energy management project. At a minimum, the case studies will include:
1) Demand management improvements resulting from filter backwashing optimization.
2) Energy cost savings from operation optimization of the biogas fueled engine driven blowers.
3) Demand reduction by timing the filtrate return to reduce process loading during the diurnal peak periods and on-peak electric energy billing periods.

To request a copy of the full paper, contact the author at

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