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Private Public Cooperation of Effective Energy Conservation
Author: William K. Faisst, James G. Smith
Date: 12/79
Presented at Energy Optimization of Water and Wastewater Management, New Orleans, Louisiana, December 1979

Increasing energy prices have impacted all sectors of American society including such vital services as water supply and wastewater treatment. These increases have been particularly pronounced since 1972. The cost for electricity has risen anywhere from 10 to over 20 percent per year, far more steeply than the general inflationary trend. Electricity cost data for the past decade, shown on Figure 1, emphasize this point.1,2 The unremitting instability in world petroleum markets forewarns us of continued escalation at an even higher level. Strong incentives are thus present to encourage energy conservation, but institutional constraints often mitigate against this desirable goal. For example, some wastewater treatment plants have had generation capacity and fuel supplies in excess of their off-peak demands. The attitudes and policies of local utilities and regulatory agencies have until recently discouraged the use of such generation facilities as a supplement to the power grid. Treatment plant managers and operating staffs favor the basic philosophy of maximizing the use of scarce and costly resources. However they must evaluate conservation prospects in terms of cost savings and effect on operating performance before implementing any program. This paper will discuss some general approaches to energy conservation that apply to water and wastewater management. We will then present several case histories showing how such approaches may be implemented. Finally we will point out areas where additional improvement is possible but changes in methods or attitudes are needed for project success.