Newsletter Article

Conserving Water Helps Reduce Energy Costs

Water heating is a significant source of energy use in most commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities. While energy-efficient water heating equipment and maintenance practices can help cut costs, a water-efficiency program is an excellent way to reduce your water heating bill. When a facility uses water efficiently, it can also reduce costs associated with electrical power, chemical use, and waste water discharge. So not only will water conservation lower your energy bill, it can help you to positively impact the environment as well.

The following guidelines are designed to be a starting point for a program to improve overall water efficiency, as well as reduce hot water use.

General management

Make a company commitment to water efficiency by:

  • Designating a water efficiency coordinator.
  • Developing a mission statement and a plan.
  • Educating and involving your employees in water efficiency efforts.
  • Letting chemical suppliers or service contractors know water efficiency is a priority for your company.

Equipment changes

High-efficiency plumbing fixtures and other equipment can yield substantial savings on water, sewer and energy bills.

  • Install high efficiency toilets, or install water-saving devices on existing toilets.
  • Install water-efficient faucet aerators and shower heads.
  • Use water-efficient ice makers.
  • As appliances and equipment wear out, replace them with water-saving models.
  • Eliminate "once-through" cooling with municipal water by recycling water flow to a cooling tower, or replacing with air-cooled equipment.

Operating and maintenance

A small investment can yield big savings.

  • Find and repair all leaks.
  • Minimize the water used in space cooling equipment per manufacturers' recommendations.
  • Shut off cooling units when not needed.

Kitchen and laundry

Simple changes that save significant amounts of water include:

  • Turn off dishwashers when not in use. Wash full loads only.
  • Scrape rather than rinse dishes before washing.
  • Use water from steam tables to wash down cooking areas.
  • Don't use running water to melt ice or frozen foods.
  • Handle waste materials in a dry state whenever possible.
  • Wash only full loads of laundry.

Landscape irrigation

Significant water consumption can occur during the growing season in some climates.

  • Detect and repair leaks in irrigation systems.
  • Use properly treated waste water or "gray water" for irrigation where available.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Don't water on windy days.
  • Water trees and shrubs—which have deep root systems—longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants that require smaller amounts of water more often.
  • Adjust sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only—not the street or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation for trees and shrubs.
  • Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems.
  • Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone.
  • Minimize or eliminate fertilizing, which promotes new growth that needs additional watering.
  • Coordinate watering to avoid discharge after heavy rainstorms whenever possible.

Other outdoor water use

Limit outdoor water consumption by:

  • Sweep or blow paved areas to clean, rather than hosing off.
  • When using a hose, control the flow with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Wash vehicles less often; use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • Consider using newer, water-saving swimming pool filters.
  • Lower pool water level to reduce amount of water splashed out.
  • Use a pool cover to reduce evaporation when the pool's not being used.

These suggested measures are not intended to supersede more stringent federal, state, tribal, or local health, safety and environmental regulations. For more information on water conservation and rebates please take a look at our Water Conservation Rebate Program.

September 2023 Water & Electric Key Accounts

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