Save Water and Energy This Summer

With the peak season for electricity demand here, power grid operators, electric utilities and water agencies are teaming up to remind consumers that one of the best ways to save energy is to save water.

The public education effort asks consumers to be especially conservation-minded to help keep the electric grid stable and reliable during hot weather when demands for both water and energy can be at their highest. At the request of the Governor’s Office, electric utilities and water agencies are collaborating to get the word out through a variety of channels this summer to help stretch water supplies and lessen the strain on the electricity grid during peak times.

A communications toolkit has been prepared for agencies to use in helping to get the word out. The toolkit includes a campaign overview, sample mailer, sample blog, sample newsletter, sample messaging options, graphics, fact sheets and additional resources. All of the materials -- except the logo -- may be adapted by each agency. For instance, facts appearing in bubbles on the fact sheet may be swapped out for local facts.

The Water-Energy Connection

Summer is the peak time for water and energy use in California, but few people are aware of the connection between the two. We all know it takes energy to run your air conditioner, but not everyone realizes it takes energy to deliver water to your home. Fact: More than 19% of the energy used in California goes to water-related activities, whether it’s treating, pumping and conveying water to your home, heating the water for your shower, or treating the wastewater that leaves your home.

Heavy water use at peak times during heat waves means additional energy demand. And with energy prices at their highest during peak hours, it costs more to pump and deliver water to your home during peak times – which means higher energy costs for your water agency and higher water and energy bills for you.

Californians can help manage peak energy demands by using clothes washers and dishwashers in the evening instead of the middle of the day and irrigating landscapes in the early morning.

Why Summer?

Dry conditions and increased energy use for air conditioning put a strain on our water and energy systems during the summer months. When energy demand exceeds the energy available, we risk an interruption in service. This summer conditions are especially challenging in southern Orange County and San Diego County because of the permanent shutdown of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.

Program Partners

The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE), which manages Energy Upgrade California™, and the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA), which manages Save Our Water in partnership with the California Department of Water Resources, are working with the Governor’s Office to coordinate a statewide education and outreach program this summer. Electric utilities and water agencies around the state are joining the effort and helping to spread the word about the need to use water and energy wisely.

Contacts

For more information, visit www.savewaterandenergycalifornia.org the week of July 22 when the site goes live. Or contact Regina Marston at the CCSE at 858-244-1196 or Jennifer Persike at ACWA at 916-441-4545.

Tools

There are a number of tools for water agencies to use to spread the word this summer. Click here for the tools. The facts in these materials may be switched out and replaced with local facts according to agency officials' preferences.