Among the wide variety of factors that influence whether a water savings program is successful, a few themes stand out as best practices. According to the ACEEE report “Saving Watts to Save Drops: Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs,” these four areas are key to determining a program’s viability.
Several programs have shown demonstrable, proactive thinking in their approach to maximizing water and energy conservation by seeing the two goals as interdependent. Here are three of the most notable for creating a new standard of best practices.
In recent years, the relationship between water and energy, referred to as the energy-water nexus, has become a more compelling focus for energy efficiency programs. Researchers and practitioners are increasingly interested in better understanding this relationship in order to design integrated programs to manage energy and water in tandem. The ACEEE report “Saving Watts to Save Drops: Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs” laid out specific criteria for assessing the viability of water saving energy efficiency programs. It also serves well as a template for designing a successful program.
Here are five essential considerations to integrate into a well-planned water savings program.
Appliance standards are a hot issue in our current energy efficiency landscape. According to the 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), states have historically led the way in establishing standards for appliances and other equipment.
State government has enormous sway in advancing energy efficiency policies. But state government goes beyond traditional energy offices to include public universities, economic development agencies and general services agencies. State government gets involved in energy efficiency through these entities to focus on three common initiatives: financial incentive programs for consumers, businesses and industry; lead-by-example policies and programs to improve the energy efficiency of public facilities and fleets; and research and development for energy efficiency technologies and practices.
In light of a recent UN report on climate change, the need for energy efficiency has taken on even more urgency. Scientists warn that to avert the damages of global warming, we need to make massive changes to the way that we live our lives. The 2018 UN report says it will take nothing less than “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.”
With emerging technologies in the energy industry, utilities face increasing pressure to innovate and keep up with their customers’ expectations. Even utilities that haven’t traditionally been innovative are taking multipronged approaches to keep consumers happy now—and to keep them happy (and connected) into the future.
A growing number of home buyers want their homes to be energy-efficient, but it’s not always easy for them to compare the efficiency of different homes.
As businesses increasingly monitor their energy usage, plug loads tend to be overlooked. And that’s a costly mistake, according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
Plug loads come from equipment that’s plugged into a standard 120V outlet. Some of the most common plug loads include computers, monitors, printers, copiers, telephones and task lighting. Coffeemakers and water coolers are other ongoing energy drains.
Electricity-product companies like SolarCity, Tesla, Nest and Ring are raising utility customers' expectations by offering high levels of personalized, mobile service and frequent consumer engagement and education.
But despite this competition, Utility Dive's third annual Utility Residential Customer Education Survey found that, overall, the utility industry is failing to effectively engage and educate its customers about the massive changes in utility generation and management.