Publication


Water-Energy Synergies: Coordinating Efficiency Programs in California

Published: September 2013
Authors: Heather Cooley and Kristina Donnelly
Pages: 51


Full Report

Overview

All forms of energy, from hydropower to solar panels, use water. Likewise, water supply, treatment, use, and disposal all use considerable amounts of energy. Coordinating water-energy efficiency efforts provides a significant opportunity to achieve greater savings for both water and energy utilities and for their customers.

This report examines barriers to coordinating water and energy efficiency programs through interviews with California water and energy managers. It presents case studies demonstrating that there are many types of programs that can jointly achieve water and energy efficiency goals. Finally, it provides recommendations for water and energy utilities seeking to pursue such coordinated programs.

Key Findings

The report provides a series of recommendations for water and energy utilities to promote coordinated programs that address customer end-use efficiencies. Among them are:

  • Utilities should designate at least one staff member as the lead for pursuing water-energy program opportunities and discussing how existing water and energy programs might be coordinated.
  • Utilities should seek ways to streamline offerings to customers through better coordination, especially for audits, and evaluate whether using a third-party to administer the program could reduce the burden on staff time.
  • Water utilities should explore ways to leverage some of the new statewide energy efficiency programs that are designed to achieve deep, comprehensive energy savings in California. Utilities should seek ways to streamline offerings to customers through better coordination, especially for audits, and evaluate whether using a third-party to administer the program could reduce the burden on staff time.
  • Water utilities should address long-term water savings and revenue stability as part of their best management practices.
  • State agencies, including the CPUC and CEC, should develop guidelines for allocating water, energy, and cost savings among project partners.

Resources