Lightbulb filled with water
Energy Management Program Saves Energy and Money
Agency, Financial, | | Return

In 2014, the average Florida household used about 13,000 kilowatt hours of power annually. When you compare that to the 140 million kilowatt hours Tampa Bay Water used last year, it’s easy to see why reducing energy use and improving efficiency is an important effort for Tampa Bay Water, its members and the environment.

About 95 percent of Tampa Bay Water’s $12 million annual power use is related to the extraction, treatment and transmission of the region’s drinking water across the utility’s 2,000-square mile service area.

Tampa Bay Water has taken a number of steps to reduce power use over the years, including participation in Tampa Electric Company’s (TECO) commercial demand response program. This program pays Tampa Bay Water for reducing power use when TECO has a “demand response event.” Since 2008, Tampa Bay Water has received $1 million from TECO and has invested those dollars in energy-saving capital projects identified in its Energy Management Program.

A key element of its Energy Management Program is industrial-grade energy audits.  These extensive audits are customized to Tampa Bay Water’s different treatment facilities and operations. The audits focus on three major energy-saving categories:

  • Lighting and air conditioning systems
  • Equipment (pumps, motors and variable frequency drives)
  • Oerational changes (pump operations, pressures and flows)

Here are a few examples of the energy and financial savings that have taken place in the past few years:

  • Tampa Bay Water Headquarters Building – Splitting the server room air conditioning system from the main building system resulted in a 31 percent average decrease in total energy consumed over the last 3 years – a savings of approximately $130,000.
  • South-Central Hillsborough Wellfield Pumps Replacement Project – After replacing 17 pumps that had reached the end of their useful lives with new pumps that were right-sized for the current operating conditions of the wellfield, the utility saved more than $300,000 in operating costs in just the first two years.
  • Cypress Creek Pump Station Operational Changes – One of the recommendations of an energy audit conducted in 2012 was to change the sequence and combinations of pumps being operated. In just the first year since the change was implemented, the pump station has seen an 18 percent decrease in energy, resulting in $110,000 in savings.

Tampa Bay Water’s is currently conducting an energy audit at the Morris Bridge Pump Station and the Regional Repump Station is slated for an audit in 2016.