Ocean County Utilities Wins Energy Audit

The Schneider Electric Water Wastewater Competency Center will perform a complete energy audit, valued up to $30,000, for the Ocean County (N.J.) Utilities Authority, a system of wastewater treatment facilities including the Central Water Pollution Control Facility; Northern Water Pollution Control Facility; and the Southern Water Pollution Control Facility.

"In the past, we have contracted out energy studies in certain areas of our operations," said Neil O'Regan, electrical and instrumentation engineer at the Bayville facility. "That's why we were excited that we had won. We know that an energy study, along with a properly implemented energy action plan, can help save quite a bit on energy costs, as well as improve operational efficiencies in other areas."

A team of power consultants will examine various energy-savings opportunities including production process scheduling, pump system optimization, variable frequency drives, peak shaving/load shedding, renewable fuel sources, lighting controls, and other operational considerations. The team will also help Ocean County understand what is needed to become Energy Star certified.

When the audit is complete, a case study will be written, helping educate other facilities on what they can do to save energy.

"Power is usually the largest variable expense in water and wastewater treatment plants, accounting for up to 50 percent of overall operating costs," said Mark Williams, national sales manager, Schneider Electric Water Wastewater Competency Center. "We want customers to understand the value of an energy audit and know that Schneider Electric can provide services that save them money and help them do their jobs more reliably and efficiently."

According to the Electric Power Research Institute, approximately three percent of the total electricity generated by the electric power industry in the U.S. is consumed by the water and wastewater industry. With new standards being set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, facilities are becoming more and more accountable for energy consumption, both from an environmental and monetary standpoint.

"In a recent audit for an environmental services company, we identified nearly $700,000 in annual potential energy savings," said Williams. "Not only can an audit help facilities save money, it also can help them increase their system reliability." 

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