Many utilities are missing out on additional energy and water savings—and related benefits—despite beginning to place more value on the link between water and energy, according to our (ACEEE) new report, Saving Watts to Save Drops: Inclusion of Water Efficiency in Energy Efficiency Programs.The report examines energy utilities’ efforts to capture and value the water savings achieved through their energy efficiency programs. It builds on earlier ACEEE research regarding best practices for jointly managed energy and water programs and energy intensity of water and wastewater services.
Although the policy world often considers energy and water to be two independent and distinct areas of resource management, they are inextricably linked. It takes water to provide energy for cooling and heating our homes, and it takes energy to transport and treat the water we drink. This relationship means that energy efficiency and water conservation go hand in hand, with energy savings translating to water savings and vice-versa. Typically referred to as the energy-water nexus, this dynamic is the subject of our (ACEEE) new report.