DUNCAN, Okla. – The National Rural Water Association will begin a new energy efficiency program designed to promote energy efficient practices in small water and wastewater systems.
“Energy efficiency in utilities is an important part of ensuring that rural communities are sustainable,” said NRWA CEO Sam Wade. “”Small water and wastewater systems can benefit significantly from upgrading equipment and changing operational practices.””
Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agricultures Rural Utilities Service, the program will perform energy assessments, recommend energy-efficient practices and technologies, and provide support in achieving those recommendations. Technical support will include assisting with presentations to governing boards, accessing financing, training, and developing documentation.
The State Rural Water Associations in seven states, Colorado, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, and Texas, will conduct the program, completing 40 assessments in each state for a total of 280 total assessments. The assessments will be conducted by staff from the State Rural Water Associations with certifications in commercial energy auditing and experience in delivering training and technical assistance to water utilities. The NRWA is the nations largest utility membership association and, with its State Affiliates, trains over 100,000 water professionals every year.
“”Rural Water Association staff members are highly experienced in operating and managing water and wastewater systems, with an average of 23 years of hands-on expertise,” said NRWA Program Manager Brendan Murphy. “State rural water staff have established working relationships with the utility systems in the state, allowing them to prioritize and assists the systems that would benefit the greatest from lower energy costs.”
Because energy is one of the largest costs for water utilities, the program is expected to have substantial impact on operating costs, financial sustainability, and product affordability. The program will set a goal of at least 10% improvement in energy efficiency and will prioritize assessments toward utilities that serve populations living in poverty.
“Lower energy costs will allow these utility systems to focus their funds and efforts toward improving infrastructure and investing in a safer and healthier future for rural America,” Murphy said.
The program will begin July 1st and operate for one year.