At the Jan. 8 city council meeting, Scottsdale Mayor W.J. “Jim” Lane and Scottsdale Water Director Brian K. Biesemeyer accepted a rebate check for nearly $108,000 for Scottsdale Water’s participation in the APS Peak Solutions for Business program, which awards high-volume customers for reducing their electricity load during peak demand events. The check brings Scottsdale Water’s total APS rebates to over $912,000 in less than 10 years.
APS Peak Solutions for Business is a demand response program that encourages business customers to reduce their electricity load during peak demand times. Scottsdale Water has been a participant in the program since its inception in 2010.
“Participation in the Peak Solutions program is a win for everyone,” explained Biesemeyer. “Reducing our load on the electrical system helps ensure APS can meet the needs of all of their customers while also advancing Scottsdale Water’s commitment to environmental and financial stewardship.”
Water treatment, delivery and collection is an extremely energy-intensive industry. Water is heavy, weighing about 8.3 pounds per gallon. During the summer months, Scottsdale Water will treat and deliver upwards of 120 million gallons of drinking water and recycled irrigation water daily. Moving that much water requires an extraordinary amount of energy.
Decreasing energy use during peak demand times is a challenge for all businesses, but it is a particularly tricky balancing act for a water utility since peak energy demand comes on the hottest, driest summer days – at the same time as peak water demand.
To meet electricity load reduction during peak demand events, Scottsdale Water must take several systems offline temporarily, relying on reserve water stored in reservoirs, alternative energy sources and minimized building cooling systems. The operational adjustments are only sustainable for a few hours a day, a few days a year.
“Reducing our electricity use during the times when demand for our product and services is at its highest puts a significant strain on our system – and our operators,” said Biesemeyer. “It is a testament to the resiliency of our organization and the commitment of our people that we are able to make these adjustments every year.”
Scottsdale Water – the city’s municipal water utility – has been providing quality drinking water and advanced reclamation services to Scottsdale businesses and residents for over 40 years. An industry leader, the utility has been recognized with the prestigious Platinum Award for Utility Excellence by the Association of Municipal Water Agencies and as a Utility of the Future Today by the Environmental Protection Agency and its partners.