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Energy Solutions: A Guide for Water and Waste Treatment

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West Basin Municipal Water District Saves $90,000 Annually

Already a leader in water conservation and recycling, West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) continues to step up its commitment to energy savings with enhancements to its Edward C. Little Water Recycling Facility (ECLWRF) in El Segundo, California, that are improving efficiencies and enabling Demand Response (DR) participation.

The ECLWRF produces 30 million gallons of recycled water daily, conserving enough drinking water to meet the needs of 60,000 households for a year. West Basin General Manager Rich Nagel notes that the former Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system was “maxed out” on what it could control, but the upgrade to the system along with installing variable frequency drives (VFDs) to their pumps helps ensure ongoing reliability and allows the district to manage more equipment automatically. With Time-Of-Use rates, it’s the perfect time to learn from West Basin’s energy-saving strategies and apply them to your facilities. Read more.

Water District

Suburban Water Systems

This water district, which serves a population of about 300,000, increased overall plant efficiency by 18% with pump replacements and the installation of variable frequency drives (VFDs)

Watch Their Story >         Read Their Story >


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Business Energy Advisor

Your business has unique energy needs, and we have customized recommendations to help you manage them. Take a survey to get information about your equipment and energy use habits, and then build an energy plan to help you achieve greater energy efficiency and better manage your bottom line.

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Energy-Efficient Solutions and Tips for Water and Wastewater

Several water and waste treatment facilities have already taken advantage of energy-efficient equipment. To help your facilities receive these same cost-efficient benefits, we offer low-interest financing for qualified energy-efficient projects.

Waste Water pipe

Energy-Efficient Solutions and Tips for Water and Waste Treatment

Here are just a few of the energy programs and suggestions that our customers have employed to increase their cost efficiency. You’ll also find more business solutions in our Water and Waste Treatment Fact Sheet and a complete list of all our qualifying energy-efficiency incentives and demand response programs by requesting our Solutions Directory.

Want to explore your clean energy options with SCE? We want to help lower your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint. Clean energy can help provide the solution.

Visit Generating Your Own Power >


It requires a significant amount of energy to power a water pumping system. If any pump is not working to specifications, or if the pumping requirements have changed, it’s possible the pump could be using power inefficiently. We offer pump testing services to qualified facilities that provide you with information so you can assess your overall pumping performance. Testing helps identify current or potential problems, allowing you to take measures to improve operations and lower your energy cost. To request testing, call 1-800-655-4555 to speak to a representative or complete the Pump Test Authorization Form to schedule an appointment.

  • Upgrade to high-efficiency pumps
  • Install a variable speed drive (VSD) to your irrigation system equipped with oversized pumps or varying loads to receive optimum productivity with reduced energy usage as compared to valve throttling or bypassing
  • Install systems that use water and electricity more efficiently, then manage and maintain the system equipment
  • Replace and check mechanical valves with motor controls (soft start)
  • Right size piping to reduce friction to lower system pressure control


Your facilities may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.


Motors and Compressors

Motor-driven equipment—such as pumps, air compressors and fans—can consume a large amount of energy. Making motors and compressors more efficient could reduce your energy costs.

Here are some ways to control your costs.

  • Install automatic shut-off devices to reduce peak demand
  • Install small air compressors for low-use periods
  • Install sequencing controls on multiple-unit compressor systems
  • Install variable-frequency drives to control motor speed
  • Replace old motors with high-efficiency motors
  • Practice preventive maintenance on motor systems
  • Optimize system efficiency through smart SCADA controls, condensers, premium efficient motors, compressors and compressed air


Your facilities may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.



Lighting and Lighting Controls

Help improve your energy efficiency by better managing your lighting costs.

  • Use LED bulbs and LED exit signs
  • Install dimmable ballasts to lower energy use in fluorescent lamps
  • Install inexpensive occupancy sensors
  • Install sensory controllers on vending machines
  • Install photocells or time clocks on outdoor lighting systems so they only operate from dusk to dawn


Your facilities may already qualify for incentives that could put these energy-saving improvements into effect.



Demand Response Programs (DR)

With these programs, receive bill credits for temporarily reducing energy use upon request during periods of high-energy demand. Choose the ones that best fit your operational needs.


Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR)


Receive energy savings by using smart technology that effortlessly and temporarily reduces the amount of energy your facilities uses (known as “load reduction”) during a DR event. With Auto-DR, load reduction is automatic and reliable, so it’s easier to participate in DR programs to capitalize on program earnings and help lower your energy costs.

Water pump

No-Cost, Do-It-Yourself Tips

Here are some immediate ways to significantly reduce your facilities energy use.

Tips Hide Tips
  • Shut off all or most pumps during TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Decrease use of aerators during TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Plan your pumping to maximize lower cost time periods such as evenings and weekends
  • Pump water into a reservoir prior to TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Adjust variable-speed drive controls for fans and pumps
  • Reduce compressed air discharge pressure by 10 psi
  • Repair air leaks in hoses and pipe connections to extend life of compressor
  • Shift use of non-essential electrical equipment to before or after TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Charge batteries and battery-operated equipment before or after TOU On-Peak hours*
  • Prioritize pumping system operations to operate the lowest cost (per acre foot) first
  • Reduce system pressures to save energy
  • Leverage elevation by pumping water into a storage tank or a reservoir prior to peak hours*
  • Turn off unnecessary lighting


* Noon to 6 p.m. from June 1 to September 30


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