The nation's wastewater plants and drinking water systems spend about $4 billion per year on energy to treat water. Individually, these operating costs can add up to one-third of a municipality's total energy bill.
As many communities strive to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions, EPA's ENERGY STAR program has introduced expanded energy efficiency tools and resources to help eliminate energy waste and lower operating costs of water and wastewater utilities. A 10 percent reduction in U.S. drinking water and wastewater systems — realized through cost-effective investments — would collectively save approximately $400 million and 5 billion kWh annually.
Managers of drinking water systems and wastewater treatment plants can now track energy use, energy costs, and associated carbon emissions by using Portfolio Manager, EPA's online benchmarking tool. Portfolio Manager also offers wastewater treatment plant managers the ability to compare the energy use of their plants with other peer plants using the EPA energy performance rating system.
Drinking water and wastewater utilities can participate in the ENERGY STAR Challenge, EPA's national call-to-action to improve the energy efficiency of America's buildings and facilities by 10 percent or more.