406 

 

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Reduce use of purchased electricity by 35% by the end of Calendar Year 2020 compared to the 
Calendar Year 2010 baseline  

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Reduce use of purchased natural gas by 5% by Calendar Year 2020 compared to the Calendar 
Year 2010 baseline 

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Beneficially use all WWTP biogas by 2022, provided the preferred strategy is projected to have a 
positive payback within the expected useful life of the required equipment 

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Formally engage local governments and partners in discussion about potential development of a 
biogasto-energy project at the Mason Farm WWTP  

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Seek proposals for third-party development of renewable energy projects on OWASA property, 
such as rooftop solar at the Administration Building.  

Energy management and efficiency is evaluated for all equipment purchases and capital projects.  

OWASA is developing a formal Energy Management Program that will include internal policies and 
procedures regarding employee education and awareness, progress tracking and reporting, and clean 
energy opportunity identification and evaluation. The evaluation criteria are being developed with the 
current Board of Directors and regional stakeholders.  

In an effort to advance investments in energy efficiency and control costs, OWASA seeks outside funding 
support for energy management activities. We obtained a $6.5 million, 20-year, no-interest loan from 
the North Carolina Clean Water Revolving Fund for installation of our new energy efficient blowers, 
mixers, and fine bubble diffused aeration system at the Mason Farm WWTP. Additionally, Duke Energy 
awarded OWASA a $168,000 custom energy efficiency incentive for the project.  

OWASA is beginning an effort to sub-meter energy intensive systems. At the Mason Farm WWTP, the 
blowers and reclaimed water systems are sub-metered. This allows WWTP operators to incorporate the 
energy impact of the decisions they make every day in running the plant. We will add more energy 
monitors next year. We track energy use and costs, and meet annually with Duke Energy to review 
electrical energy use and applicable rate schedules for each of our accounts. Where possible, we make 
adjustments to ensure we are being charged the most economical rates for each of our accounts. As a 
result of these reviews, we changed the power feed arrangement at the WWTP, which enabled us to 
avoid an annual cost increase of more than $60,000.  

The reclaimed water system has resulted in a decrease in average-day water sales by about 0.7 MGD. 
Assuming our current combined energy use rate of 6.05 kilowatt-hours per 1,000 gallons of water and 
wastewater treated, and factoring in the energy savings from using reclaimed water instead of drinking 
water, the reduction in our customer water demands corresponds to an estimated energy savings of 
about 200,000 kilowatt-hours every year.  

We work to reduce the number of wastewater pumping stations. Since 2004, we have eliminated four 
stations by extending the gravity sewer system. The estimated energy savings has been about 18,500 
kwh every year.  

In early 2016, OWASA signed on as a partner in the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings, Better 
Plants Challenge. In doing so, OWASA pledged to reduce its energy intensity by 25% against a 2013 
baseline. Through our participation, OWASA hopes to arrange energy management-related training to 
plant staff and incorporate leading technologies into our everyday operations.