The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) represents nearly 350 electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers at the forefront of electrical safety, reliability, and resilience, as well as efficiency and energy security. Our combined industries account for 360,000 American jobs in more than 7,000 facilities covering every state. Our industry produces $106 billion shipments of electrical equipment and medical imaging technologies per year with $36 billion exports.

In 2015, the NEMA Board of Governors authorized a report to investigate market opportunities to improve energy efficiency in the supply, delivery, and treatment of water. It sought to:

  • Quantify the effectiveness and electrical efficiency of equipment in facilities representative of the U.S. urban water supply’s delivery and treatment systems
  • Analyze the market potential to improve performance by using new technology
  • Reevaluate the viability of applying energy savings performance contract (ESPC) practices to finance modernization upgrades

A subsequent 2016 Strategic Initiative finalized the report, “Increasing Energy Efficiency in Urban Water Systems,” and developed a Summary Report for public use. The NEMA Water Energy Toolkit is the product of those efforts.

The Water Energy Study

In 2015, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) began to examine the state of domestic water utilities and the opportunity therein for improvements and modernization.  NEMA partnered with the Hydraulic Institute (HI) and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) in this effort.

NEMA hired GEI Consultants Inc. to gather and analyze existing literature about energy efficiency potential in the U.S. water supply, and to report on specific energy consumption at representative water utilities, including a detailed report on the potential for pursuing Water Energy Saving Performance Contract (Water ESCO or WESCO) business in this sector.

As a result of this study, GEI concluded and recommended the following:

  1. Recognizing that some water agencies lack the analytic capacity or staff resources to perform certain energy-related evaluations, NEMA can develop programs and tools to facilitate site audits; perform pump evaluations, conduct testing and system optimization assessments; and educate and train agency and facility staff.
  2. To facilitate the development of these tools and resources, NEMA can establish a water sector focused group made up of facility managers and operators that can assist in the targeting of efforts to the most important water-related topics and infrastructure needs.
  3. Get more involved and maintain a consistent presence in water-related associations, non-governmental organizations, and advocacy groups to increase understanding of the many opportunities the water sector has to improve the energy efficiency of their processes; stay current on information about issues and challenges being faced by water agencies; and access the paths to more direct agency interactions for project development.
  4. Recognizing that funding opportunities can vary from state-to-state and over time, facilitate the identification and organization of innovative funding approaches into various, more holistic portfolios for agencies that leverage ESCOs, public and private dollars, and energy utility incentives. These portfolios can be updated regularly and highlight what components of overall projects can be financed with what funding sources, how these sources can be aligned and share to meet “match share” requirement or fill funding gaps.
  5. As an organization, continue to directly fund, independently or in collaboration with other water research organizations, the demonstration of technologies, best practices and other types of energy savings strategies, disseminating the results at water conferences, industry publications and webinars.

Of these recommendations, NEMA determined that the education and training portion was the most compelling. This website is the direct response to that need.