Energy Exchange

Selected tag(s): ACEEE

Energy And Water Utilities’ Unique Perspectives Uncover Joint Cost-Saving Solutions

In the past, I’ve written a lot about the inherent connection between energy and water use and the need for co-management of energy-water planning. Most of the energy we use requires copious amounts of water to produce, and most of the water we use requires a considerable amount of energy to treat and transport. Despite this inherent connection, it’s actually uncommon to see energy and water utilities collaborating to identify best practices to save energy and water and even lower costs. Think of it this way: If energy and water utilities worked together, their unique perspectives could uncover joint cost-saving solutions, customers would save more money and utilities could share data to better understand their holistic energy-water footprint.

Identifying why there is a lack of collaboration and how to overcome these barriers was the motivation behind the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE’s) recent report.  The report goes beyond citing discrepancies, though, and provides solutions for energy and water utilities to create better, more resource-efficient programs for themselves and their customers.

The report highlights a number of ways U.S. energy and water utilities have collaborated to identify mutually-beneficial energy and water savings. It lists successful energy and water utility programs from a variety of different sectors, including residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural and municipal. Read More »

Posted in California, Energy Efficiency, Energy-Water Nexus, Texas / Also tagged | Comments are closed

Two Powerhouse Texas Cities Lead Country In Energy Efficiency

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) recently released its inaugural City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranks cities on their energy efficiency efforts, specifically on initiatives for buildings, transportation, energy and water utility efforts, local government operations and communitywide projects.

Austin placed in the top ten at #6, followed by Houston (#13), Dallas (#14) and San Antonio (#16) in the top 20 and El Paso (#23) and Fort Worth #26 falling just below that mark. Austin and San Antonio probably don’t surprise too many people, especially in light of my previous posts, but Houston, the nation’s oil and gas capital, and Dallas, a high-powered business center, probably don’t spring to mind for most people. However, these two cities have recently turned the tide and are gearing up for a big Texas clean energy showdown.

I think it’s worthwhile to mention that these two cities are impacted by the drought, although Houston feels the strain less due to its location in the Gulf Coast flood plain. But this locational drought-buffer carries its own problems, namely the threat of rising sea-levels, which are predicted to significantly affect Houston.

On top of that, both cities are in non-attainment with ozone standards, meaning their air quality is worse than the minimum threshold set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Therefore, there is a great need to improve the cities’ air quality in order to protect local citizens from health hazards. This gives them a further incentive to undertake clean energy initiatives. Read More »

Posted in Energy Efficiency, Texas / Tagged | Comments are closed