Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Energy Improvements in Municipal Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants in NYS(ST8672-1)

Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.


The municipal water and wastewater sector provides critical services vital to public health and economic development, and is energy-intensive. The sector also is in serious need of repair and upgrading. In New York State alone, we will need to invest approximately $25 billion over the next 10 years. In 1995, NYSERDA conducted a preliminary assessment of the energy efficiency opportunities for wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs).

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Project Description

Due to multiple factors (e.g., deregulation of the energy market, significant technology advancements, newly proposed regulatory mandates, and heightened concern of water security and potential water scarcity), an updated and expanded comprehensive characterization and assessment of the markets, technologies and drivers for energy efficiency/energy improvements in the water and wastewater treatment sector, including an estimate of anticipated future load growth, was performed.


The assessment provided baseline information that is used by multiple programs and other planning efforts.

Project Results

With systems ranging in size from less than 10 gallons to over 2 billion gallons per day, and treatment technologies ranging from some of the simplest to some of the more complicated in the industry, New York’s municipal water and wastewater sector is one of the most diverse in the United States. The assessment concluded: • The sector as a whole is approximately 10% more efficient than the national average. Still, with an average retail price for electricity that is 40 to 60% higher than the national average, New York’s water and wastewater sector is spending 35% more on electricity than its national counterparts on a per unit basis ($/million gallons). • There remains significant opportunity for energy efficiency improvements at utilities of all sizes and types through supply side and demand side energy efficiency improvements. • Regulatory, infrastructure and technological trends are likely to result in increased electrical energy use by the sector, making energy efficiency an even greater concern as municipalities continue to face budget constraints. • While there are a number of sector-specific barriers, the combination of public and governmental support, funding, and knowledge transfer should help overcome these barriers; keeping New York’s water and wastewater infrastructure – the backbone of our communities – operating efficiently.


Malcolm Pirnie, Inc.
Accounts Receivable 23444 Network Place
Chicago, IL 60673

Principle Investigator

Daniel Loewenstein

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Information Dissemination

Technologies Types:

Waste Management and Pollution Prevention
Water/Wastewater treatment systems

NYSERDA Contact Information

Kathleen O'Connor


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST8672-1

Last Updated: 1/10/2011