Inland Empire Utilities Agency

IEUA is a municipal water district that distributes imported water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California and provides municipal and industrial wastewater collection and treatment services to more than 700,000 people in San Bernardino County.

The IEUA pilot explored a wide variety of means by which IEUA and its constituents can reduce water-related energy consumption. Activities included conservation and demand side management, as well as energy savings from system, process and operating changes. Opportunities to encourage energy efficient behavior through changed policies and programs were also identified.

The primary energy users benefiting from this pilot are California water purveyors, both public and private, that treat and/or deliver water or wastewater. Other entities that own and operate water and wastewater treatment systems and owners of desalination plants also benefit.

Learn more about IEUA's "Water-Energy Relationship" by exploring IEUA's energy challenges and strategies.

CALeep IEUA Pilot Objectives

Internal IEUA Engagement Channel:

  • Benchmark IEUA’s existing policies, programs and practices against best practices adopted by other entities in the industry (including local government, water and wastewater utilities, and others) and develop policy recommendations for attaining IEUA’s energy efficiency goals.
  • Develop a library of potential resources that can assist water agencies in enhancing their energy efficiency activity and identify program or project characteristics needed to qualify for each type of potential assistance.
  • Estimate the value of energy saved for each unit of water saved under a number of end-user scenarios and develop a methodology for computing the total resource value of avoided water and/or energy consumption that includes consideration of externalities, peak period costs, and the marginal costs of IEUA’s water and energy supplies.

IEUA External (Customers, Communities & Partners) Engagement Channel:

  • Apply the new valuation approach to existing programs and make recommendations regarding program areas having high resource value.

Key CALeep IEUA Pilot Documents

    • Best Practices Gap Assessment
    • Capital Program Energy Grant Update (10.19.05): Presentation to IEUA Board of Directors, updating the Board on the results of IEUA's 2006 energy grant status and summarizing the results of its participation as a CALeep pilot program.
    • Capital Program Energy Grant Update (11.02.05): With the grant funds provided by CALeep, IEUA procured consulting assistance on a matching funds basis for evaluations of various energy efficiency opportunities. Each of these projects is consistent with the goals and objectives identified in the Energy Commission's 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR) with respect to the state's water-energy initiative.
    • Energy Efficiency Checklist for IEUA Project Managers: Although IEUA adopted energy management guidelines that required incorporation of energy efficient best practices in design and operations. IEUA learned that the success of attaining this goal had been left to the discretion of engineering project managers, and not all of these managers were conversant in energy efficient design options. An energy efficiency checklist was prepared that directs project managers to the appropriate specifications. Some of these specifications are still under development.
    • Facility Lighting Design: During the course of the CALeep project, IEUA became aware that one of its wastewater treatment plants was very well lit, even though the facility was unmanned. This prompted an investigation that resulted in hiring a lighting consultant to review IEUA's interior and exterior lighting at its wastewater treatment plants. The lighting consultant recommended a number of lighting retrofits with lighting controls that collectively are estimated to reduce IEUA's energy consumption by 1136 MWh per year -- an annual savings of $175,975 with an average 5 year payback.
    • Wastewater Treatment Plant Energy Efficiency Evaluation: Through CALeep, IEUA and its consultants identified a number of opportunities for increasing wastewater treatment process and energy efficiency. In addition, opportunities for increased biogas and cogeneration production were identified. Presently, SoCalGas is providing design assistance through its "Savings by Design" program. Projected benefits from these process improvements are 13,050 MWhrs per year -- an annual savings of approximately $1.5 million. Actual savings will depend on acceptance and implementation by IEUA of SoCalGas' "Savings by Design" final recommendations.
    • Geothermal Cooling Evaluation: Consistent with its culture of innovation, IEUA creatively considers use of every known resource. For the CALeep project, IEUA decided to evaluate the possibility of geothermal cooling options for its facilities. The study indicated a potential to implement geothermal cooling at IEUA's LEED Platinum Headquarters building that could save 226 MWHrs and $27,000 per year.
    • Recycled Water Energy Analysis: IEUA learned through CALeep that it could collaboratively develop customized energy efficiency incentives with its electric utility service provider, SCE, through Standard Performance Contracts (SPCs). IEUA decided to review its capital program for potential opportunities to modify new or upgraded facilities to optimize energy benefits. Through this process, IEUA identified several opportunities to oversize new and upgraded pipelines (to reduce friction and increase pumping efficiency) and to oversize reservoirs. If incentives can be negotiated with SCE, IEUA may be able to receive authorization for the incremental capital expenditures needed to attain these energy benefits (estimated at 12,546 MWh, a potential annual savings of $1.5 million).
    • Hydro Turbine Analysis: In its 2005 Integrated Energy Policy Report (IEPR), the Energy Commission identified energy self sufficiency by water and wastewater utilities as a very important goal. In addition to highly efficient systems and processes, the IEPR recommended that water and wastewater utilities maximize self-production of energy, especially renewables. Water and wastewater utilities are the key stakeholders in production of in-conduit hydropower; yet hydropower production by wastewater facilities is not a common practice. Through CALeep, IEUA evaluated the potential for installing hydro-turbines in gravity and pressure pipelines. IEUA's consultant recommended that hydro-turbines be considered in recycled water pipes wherever pressure reducing valves are being considered. Potential sites were identified on IEUA's system that total 1625 MWh. If developed, annual savings of $195,060 could be attained.