Cascade was recently selected as the winning bidder to design and implement a strategic energy management (SEM) program for the City of Phoenix’s Water Services Department, which includes five water production facilities, three wastewater treatment facilities, and distribution and collection systems covering 540 square miles. Cascade has partnered with Hansen, Allen & Luce, AESC, and WasteWater Technology Trainers to deliver this multi-year program.
Like many cities, the Water Services Department is the City of Phoenix’s largest energy consumer, accounting for 35% of the City’s electricity and natural gas usage as a whole. In searching for solutions to improve energy efficiency, the City joined the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Plants Program in 2015. This exposure to standardized energy management systems inspired the City to build on its efforts by implementing a comprehensive SEM program.
SEM activates facilities teams to achieve deep energy savings and helps companies better understand where and how energy is used so they can complete projects that produce measurable, sustained energy savings over time. Cascade has unique experience delivering SEM to water and wastewater organizations, having coached 53 wastewater plants and 24 water systems through SEM engagements since 2014.
Per Layne McWilliams, Cascade’s lead for water and wastewater programs, “The work in Phoenix represents our first major engagement in bringing SEM to a municipality directly, rather than through a sponsoring electric or gas utility. As such, it’s a potential game changer for the industry. Most municipal organizations want to win the race to be second; no one wants to be first to try anything! When Phoenix is successful, others will want to follow their lead.”
Through SEM, Cascade and its partners plan to help the City reach its goal to reduce energy intensity by 25% over a ten-year period. The new SEM program is expected to kick off in mid-2018.