Energy Efficiency Upgrades Continue to Pay Off at the City's Water Resource Recovery Facility
Since April, the City has received more than $220,000 in rebates as a result of its efforts to become more energy efficient and further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In April, Southern California Gas Company (SCG) presented the City with a $187,500 rebate for installing a cogeneration system and other energy efficiency measures at the Water Resource Recovery Facility (WRRF). In July, SCG followed with a $34,152 rebate through its Self-Generation Incentive Program for significantly reducing the amount of natural gas used over the past year at the WRRF.
Those rebates were deposited in the City’s Sewer Fund, which benefits the ratepayers who fund the city’s wastewater operations.
The City declared Climate Action a top priority during its major city goal-setting workshop last January. Afterward, 14 objectives were created, aimed at reducing citywide greenhouse gas emissions, with four objectives focused on energy efficiency and greenhouse reductions within City facilities.
Those efforts both helped limit damage to the environment and helped the City save money.
In an effort to offset the installation costs of systems that utilize renewable energy sources, SCG’s Self-Generation Incentive Program offers incentives for using cogeneration systems. The City installed a cogeneration system at the WRRF, which produces electricity from biogas. Biogas consists mainly of methane gas produced by the decomposition of organic matter in an anaerobic digester used in the treatment process at the WRRF. By harnessing the biogas, the city reduces its use of natural gas, which in turn lowers greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural gas reduction efforts are a product of the WRRF Energy Efficiency Project, a collaborative effort between the City and PG&E completed in December 2015. The project included 13 upgrades within the WRRF, including the cogeneration system, existing equipment for improved energy efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The upgrades have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by approximately one million pounds annually since project completion—the equivalent of planting 378 acres of forest, taking 96 cars off the road or powering 69 homes.
The WRRF is responsible for treating more than one billion gallons of wastewater each year. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the WRRF is one of the largest energy users in the City with annual costs of approximately $500,000.
CONTACT: Dave Hix, Utilities Deputy Director – Wastewater, 805-781-7039
Marcus Carloni, Sustainability Coordinator (Climate Action Program), 805-781-7151