Understanding the customer (and their limits)

While they are literally everywhere, water and wastewater customers are hard to engage in energy efficiency.

With oversized systems running inefficiently and cities motivated to reduce operating costs, water and wastewater plants are prime candidates for energy-saving projects.

However—and understandably—safe and reliable operation to protect health and the environment is the focus of these customers: energy efficiency will never be the most important issue. We get it.

Our approach


Our team will help identify water and wastewater systems with good energy savings potential.



We coach water and wastewater personnel in strategic energy management, showing them how energy efficiency, water quality, system performance, and process control all improve through optimization.



By training managers and operators to identify and act on energy-saving opportunities, we help water and wastewater plants achieve deep and sustained energy savings.


We engage for the long term, building the trust necessary to make energy projects happen in this cautious industry, and shepherding a strong pipeline of future capital projects.

Water and wastewater at a glance



Participated in energy management projects in ten states through eight utility demand-side management programs.



The typical amount municipalities spend on water and wastewater energy use.



Average energy savings for plants participating in strategic energy management (with the top quartile of participants saving 19%).

Our water and wastewater team

Cascade’s water and wastewater professionals are industry veterans capable of earning the trust of risk-averse operators and managers.

By training managers, engineers, operators, and design firms to identify and then to become comfortable enough to act on the abundant savings opportunities at their facilities, we help water and wastewater plants achieve deep and sustained energy savings.

Featured Projects


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In 2014, Rocky Mountain Power and Cascade presented a direct SEM engagement to Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. The district has three main water resources: surface water, groundwater, and RO water. Through workshops and consultation, Cascade’s SEM team alongside JVWCD developed plans to deliver water from the lowest-energy resources, while optimizing transmission efficiency.

Over the course of the three year engagement, JVWCD is now saving $800,000 per year in annual cost savings.


Saving energy one drop at a time

Improving efficiency without compromising water quality

This video shares the stories of several organizations that decided to become intentional about their energy use. If you want to learn more after hearing about their experiences, please give us a call or send us an email.

Cascade delivers utility-sponsored programs like this in several states. We can also design a customized program specifically for your industry or your organization.

Learn more

Achieving savings through innovation and collaboration

Working with our program partners at the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation (VEIC), Cascade launched the first Wastewater Energy Coaching (WEC) cohort in western New York in 2018 with nine water resource recovery facilities participating. This program, sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), is aimed at bringing strategic energy management (SEM) concepts and organizational awareness to the wastewater industry in New York.

NYSERDA’s program includes one half-day and five full-day workshops, full-day “treasure hunts” for each participant, energy modeling to track savings, and technical and organizational coaching and assistance.

Midway through the engagement, several of the participants came together to share their thoughts about the experience in a short video.

Case Study

In 2014, Idaho Power and Cascade collaborated on a cohort-based SEM offering for the utility’s wastewater treatment customers. Wastewater Energy Efficiency Cohort, or WWEEC, was an intensive program involving 11 of the 12 largest municipal wastewater accounts in Idaho Power’s service area. The cohort transformed the opinions of the participating cities on the value their utility can provide.

Idaho Power Wastewater Energy Efficiency Cohort

11 Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants
5  Strategic Energy Management Workshops
5  Million kWh Saved in Year 1

For more information, customer testimonials, and tips for saving energy in wastewater treatment plants, see the accompanying case studies developed by Idaho Power and provided with their permission.


Layne McWilliams

Layne McWilliams, Cascade’s Director of Water and Wastewater Customer Engagement, works with city managers, facility operators, system engineers, and equipment vendors to identify energy-efficiency opportunities within our nation’s public infrastructure. In his previous life, from 1992 through 2006, Layne worked in the design, construction, and start-up of water and wastewater facilities. He is now atoning for his sins as a designer, when energy was no more than a passing thought!


Cascade is ready to help your water and wastewater customers manage their energy use.