Best Practice

Local Authorities Water Services Working Group


Water services. Potential Savings of 30% - 50%

Local authority water services use approximately 350GWh of energy and emits 180,000 tonnes of CO2.

Initial indications from the Working Group reveal 30% - 50% savings in energy use are achievable through the use of high efficiency pumps. The Water Services Working Group will aid local authorities to achieve these substantial savings.

Energy Use in Water Services

Energy used in local authorities water services varies between 55% and 70% of the total energy consumed by local authorities.

Per Capita energy consumption in several surveyed counties shows an average energy consumption of over 105 kWh per person on water and waste water.

Potential Energy Efficiency Opportunities

Many water pumping stations and treatment plants have never managed energy – with the exception of the winter demand reduction schemes. Significant energy opportunities however do exist.

For example, work underway in Kerry and Tipperary has yielded significant savings (20% - 40% in pumping energy efficiency) in several key categories.

Breaking The Barriers to Implementation

The activities of the Working Group aim to address some of the actual and perceived barriers to energy efficiency in water and wastewater treatment, including:

  • Insufficient management of energy due to lack of driver for efficiency savings. Focus on management of plants for quality and supply not linked to complimentary benefits of energy efficiency.
  • Some councils do not have a dedicated energy efficiency resource, and this work will take time and effort by qualified/ knowledge enabled persons.
  • Poor knowledge in Energy Efficiency in Water services.
  • Decisions made at department level or by consultants rather than local engineers, with no performance measurements associated with energy performance.
  • Funding for energy efficiency upgrades decreasing in availability.
  • No standard procurement documents and technical specifications.

SEAI is facilitating a Water Services Working group, bringing together principle stakeholders and leaders in energy efficiency to develop methods to overcome these barriers. 

Membership includes:

  • DoEHLG (Procurement & Design)
  • Local Energy Agencies
  • Local Authorities
  • SEAI
  • Industry Experts
Planned Outcomes. Planned Results. Planned Savings.

The Working Groups are developed a number of work streams to support energy efficiency in water services including:

  • Assessment tools for pump efficiency & Energy performance indicators
  • Best practice guidelines for energy efficient water pumping procurement and evaluation.
  • Several in-depth assessments and implemented actions
  • Case studies of work completed
  • Summary report of policy requirements

These outcomes are available to download here  

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