Efficiency as Utility Culture
WTD has a long history of energy savings. We have been using biogas in the treatment process since 1966, began creating electricity from biogas in 1983, and started scrubbing and selling pipeline-quality biogas for use as natural gas in local homes and businesses since 1988. By becoming more energy independent we can insulate the agency against gas and electricity rate volatility or the loss of power during storms
A forward-thinking Energy Program is fundamental to WTD's environmental ethic and commitment to financial stewardship. Tasked with reigning in energy use and costs, the Energy Program is all about the numbers:
- Collect and analyze energy data
- Use data to support operational decisions
- Integrate energy efficiency into capital projects
Since its establishment, the Energy Program has already led multiple strategic efforts to encourage and guide future energy-related projects.
Asset Management and Life Cycle Cost Analysis
WTD integrates energy investments, analysis, and ongoing energy savings into the overall asset management strategy. This integration allows WTD to design and build facilities with the least amount of risk, the highest degree of reliability, and at a reasonable cost. Life cycle cost analysis and Reliability Centered Maintenance principles take into account all aspects regarding energy usage: operations and maintenance needs, capital investments, chemical costs, construction cost, disposal costs, and any other quantifiable variable.
WTD owns and maintains about $6 billion in assets that include:
- 4 combined sewer overflow treatment facilities
- 112 blowers
- 5 treatment plants
- 162 air handling units
- 7 turbines
- 352 miles of conveyance pipe
- 15 boilers
- 863 variable frequency drives
- 43 pump stations
- 2,398 pumps
- 67 engines
- 2,413 motors
The Energy Program regularly audits facilities and systems to assess energy use. Depending on the complexity of the system, an audit can range from an ASHRAE Level One* audit to a more detailed Investment Grade Audit.
By the end of 2013, the Energy Program will have completed audits on all significant facilities that consume over 5,000 MMBtu of annual energy. When needed, portable devices log data on specific equipment or systems, helping the Energy Program make informed decisions about the best way to improve energy efficiency.
Staff Training on Energy Efficiency
In 2012, the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) trained over 30 WTD employees on topics ranging from optimizing boiler efficiency to the pitfalls of performance contracting. This capacity-building opportunity was funded by the Federal Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) sought by the Energy Program.
For more information about the Energy Program, please contact us at:
- Elizabeth Lyon
- 201 S. Jackson Street, KSC-NR-0512, Seattle, WA 98104