The Energy-Water Connection

6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a581cf2b970c-320wiMany people don’t realize the close connections between water and power resources. Energy and water are truly intertwined. Producing energy uses water and providing water to our cities uses energy.  It takes a huge amount of electrical power to pump water to our thirsty cities, and when it gets there we burn natural gas to heat it.

When people turn on a light switch or charge their cell phone, they may be aware of the energy they’re using, but they’re probably not thinking about the water used to generate that electricity! Virtually every source of electricity in a typical American home or manufacturing plant – whether it comes from hydroelectricity, coal, natural gas, nuclear, biofuels, or even concentrated solar — also requires water.

Water scarcity has become more of a reality and amplifies the need to manage our energy and water resources. California’s current drought is challenging us to find ways to reduce our energy and water use.

Water-related energy use in California also consumes approximately 20 percent of the state’s electricity, and 30 percent of the state’s non-power plant natural gas (i.e. natural gas not used to produce electricity).  — California Energy Commission

Reduce Energy Use at Home

The good news is that becoming more energy efficient, not only conserves water, it saves you money. Water heating is the third largest energy expense in your home. It typically accounts for about 13% of your utility bill, and can account for 14%-25% of the energy consumed in your home. The EPA estimates that if one out of every 100 American homes was retrofitted with water-efficient fixtures, we could save about 100 million kWh of electricity per year and avoid adding 80,000 tons of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere.

As a member of the SDG&E Energy Solutions Partner Network, we are able to share with you meaningful energy-saving solutions, programs, services and tools. Did you know that just turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save as much as 3,000 gallons per year! Installing an energy efficient washing machine conserves energy and water. SDG&E is currently offering customers FREE water savings kits which can help reduce water usage by up to 11%. Apply for a kit today.

Here are some ways to reduce your use:

Take advantage of the offers above to start reducing your use today!

References:

http://www.epa.gov/region9/waterinfrastructure/waterenergy.html

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/making-connection-between-water-and-energy

http://www.earthday.org/sites/default/files/4._energy_sources_and_water_usage_9-12_lesson_plan.pdf

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