A Survey of Energy Use in Water Companies

White Paper


Rachel Young


Although the relationship between water and energy is a close one, the energy intensity of water and wastewater systems is relatively undocumented. To advance the understanding of the water-energy nexus and bring attention to possible opportunities, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and ACEEE surveyed NAWC’s member companies on their energy use and water processing to determine the amount of energy they used to treat and distribute water. The survey found that these companies show similar energy intensity to that seen in previous ACEEE research. It also confirmed previous studies showing that the distance water travels, the water source, and the size of the water utility all impact the energy intensity of the water system. An additional finding was that some water and wastewater companies are making substantial progress in improving their energy and water efficiency.