Feb 12, 2014

California Water District to Begin Energy Conservation Program

Infrastructure improvements & utility program participation are expected to save more than $520,000 in annual energy costs

East Valley Water District Highland California Honeywell energy conservation

Honeywell will be working with East Valley Water District (EVWD) of Highland, Calif., to improve water distribution systems and reduce utility costs through a combined energy conservation and automated demand response (ADR) program. The project is expected to reduce annual energy costs by $523,000.

The project will be financed through a 10-year, $4-million energy performance contract with Honeywell, allowing the water district to pay for the upgrades through the anticipated savings, which the company guarantees. As a result, the program should provide the needed improvements without requiring EVWD to invest upfront capital.

The local electric company, Southern California Edison (SCE), will also provide a $500,000 rebate for the district’s involvement in the ADR program, which requires EVWD to trim energy use on days when the call for electricity puts significant stress on the utility grid.

“As a water district, we are pleased to have the opportunity to dramatically reduce our energy use, help our state reach its energy reduction goals and increase system efficiencies for our customers,” said John Mura, CEO and general manager for East Valley Water District. “We take pride in being environmental stewards; this project can help us better manage our water system while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to a 2005 report by the California Energy Commission, 19% of the state’s energy requirements and about 30% of natural gas consumption is water related, including water treatment, and pumping and delivery, among other activities. EVWD’s efforts and similar projects could have an impact on the state-wide goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020.

“Opportunities to reduce emissions and energy use are not limited to large commercial and industrial operations, or public facilities,” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “Water and wastewater operations can realize tremendous savings through upgrades as well. Honeywell can help these organizations optimize their systems and dedicate fewer resources to electricity and natural gas.”

As part of the program, Honeywell will improve the district’s infrastructure by replacing older, inefficient water pumps with high-efficiency models and modifying pumping schedules so water reserves are replenished only during off-peak utility hours.

Energy rates are typically highest from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. During those times, EVWD will automatically shut down the majority of its pumping stations to reduce operating costs, while relying on stored water and a few key stations to continue to provide uninterrupted service to its 94,000 customers. In addition, EVWD is transitioning to a new electrical rate structure with SCE that provides incentives for off-peak consumption.

Honeywell will also upgrade outdated electrical switches and breakers at two facilities, and install an emergency generator at another to provide backup power in the event of a disruption.

The water district will further benefit by participating in the SCE ADR program. When the utility is facing a supply-demand imbalance or an overburdened grid, EVWD has agreed to automatically shed electrical load by further reducing the amount of pumping stations in use—without impacting service to customers.

Water stored in elevated tanks will be used to meet the needs of the district’s customers,and facility personnel can opt out of a demand response event if reserves are low or full capacity is needed due to an emergency. The same controls that manage pumping schedules will be able to coordinate the ADR-related changes as well. And, when it’s time to make the adjustments, the controls will receive a signal from Honeywell’s Akuacom Demand Response Automation Server, which SCE uses to communicate with facility systems at participating customer sites.