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Internal or Operational and Behavioral Efficiencies: Energy Saving Investigation Process

What do the icons below mean?

This section describes energy efficiency strategies that can simply be achieved by management or operation changes in the way we function in the workplace. Many of these strategies require very little money or effort to achieve a savings.

Brown IconSustainability

Review State and EPA Standards for capacity development in the following areas and implement the standards:

  • Effective Rates
  • Financial Capacity
  • Impact Fees
  • Levels of Service standards
  • Managerial Capacity
  • Technical Capacity

Brown IconTrain and Educate

Provide training opportunities for administrative, office, and operational staff at regular intervals. Ensure that all personnel are certified at levels at least at their required proficiency requirements. The Rural Water Association of Utah and the State Division of Drinking Water offer many courses and testing opportunities.

Brown IconAdministrative

  • Know who to call when help is needed. Have a ledger distributed to all departments of who to contact in an emergency or if technical assistance is needed. Again, the Rural Water Association of Utah and the State Division of Drinking Water have resources in place to help with any type of problem or assistance needed.
  • Develop a realistic capital improvement program to replace old systems with more efficient systems.
  • Implement efficient utility billing and related financial data systems.
  • Develop sound emergency management programs, including redundant communication systems for SCADA and personnel access.
  • Join the UT-WARN cooperative agency to provide resources in an emergency or other problem.
  • Implement Asset Management Systems for:
    • Capital Improvements
    • O&M

Green IconOperational

  • In large utilities, geographically distribute operational personnel where practical. Create possible small satellite offices or shops and equipment stores, with SCADA access to more efficiently position operation staff across the service area.
  • Train operators regularly in the efficient and proper diagnostic procedures used to determine system water losses.
  • Reduce paper output by providing work orders, system maps, O&M manuals, and system photos digitally to remotely accessible computers and mobile devices (iPads, smartphones, etc.).
  • Optimize and centralize spare parts and other inventory in key locations to reduce energy and time related travel needed for the proper operation and maintenance of the systems assets and services.
  • Ensure that all operations and management staff have reliable access to
    SCADA, security systems, and server data and resources to minimize the amount of travel need to check systems in person.
  • Encourage telecommuting with certain staff where practical.
  • Compile and regularly train with employees’ or operators’ “Water Operations Manuals” or “Standard Operating Procedures” (SOPs)—compiled with emergency and energy management procedures, etc.
  • Practice “table top exercises” and drills and tests, etc. in company operation and emergency procedures.
  • Teach operations staff to be creative and innovative, and provide new ideas and designs. Reward for such.

Green IconOffice Facilities

  • Implement energy management strategies in water system offices—i.e., programing thermostats effectively and using low energy lighting, motion controlled light switches, etc.
  • Install a backup generator for the administrative office if needed.

Green IconPublic Relations and Education

  • Make the system’s Website more public friendly, usable, and efficient.
  • Education—start early to instill a conservation ethic in children.
  • Conservation resources.
  • Water fairs.
  • Back-flow and cross connection prevention.
  • Groundwater protection.
  • Conservation Gardens and xeriscaping displays.
  • Public educational press releases.
  • Educate the public to assist in the recognition of a water leak, possible security breach, or water theft, etc.

Green IconMaterials and Equipment Recycling

    • Recycle paper and other appropriate office items; provide accessible bins for such purposes.
    • Recycle used metal scrap, copper, brass, and bronze, from old water facilities, equipment, and meters.
    • Re-use older electrical and water distribution equipment where feasible.
    • Recycle all SCADA and UPS system batteries.
    • Recycling programs for pipe, copper, brass, and other materials.
  • Implement the proper re-use of used materials in boneyards, etc.

Orange IconGreen IconFleet and Transportation

  • Reduce fuel usage by operations staff through the proper implementation and use of a field accessible customer service order, asset management system, and inventory control system. This will significantly reduce the need to return to the office frequently to gather work orders, directives, etc.
  • Procure more energy efficient vehicles and equipment in system operations.
  • Investigate CNG conversions for viable equipment.
  • In very large systems, investigate the use of GPS tracking on company vehicles to assist in the most timely and efficient dispatch of personnel to customer needs or equipment problems.

Yellow IconDollar IconBlue IconSystem Regionalization Efficiencies

  • Can provide some economies of scale.
  • Allows for the shared source and storage facilities and extends capacities.
  • Lower staffing levels per customer.
  • More efficient use of heavy equipment and repair parts inventories.
  • Regionalizing can sometimes be inefficient regarding energy due to the interconnection of systems that were not designed for such.