In the simplest of terms, every drop of water saved in the U.S. saves energy, and every unit of energy saved saves water. That overlap between energy and water is called the “energy-water nexus.”
Water and energy are inextricably linked when it comes to utilities providing customers with electricity for lights and water for the tap. It takes water to produce energy and energy to produce drinking water at our water treatment plant. It then takes energy to transport water to your home for drinking, bathing, cooking, washing clothes, flushing toilets, and outdoor watering.
Each time you take a shorter shower, wash a full load of laundry, or install a low-flow showerhead or front-load washing machine, you not only save water, but you also save energy through reduced hot water use and volume of water used. Residential water heating also comprises the largest share of water-related carbon emissions. High efficiency toilets not only save water, they save energy as well because not as much water from the water treatment plant is needed to be treated and transported in order to flush the toilet, resulting in less energy use.
Community Energy Challenge Partnership
As part of the City of Bellingham’s adopted goals and measures of the Water Conservation Program, the City has partnered with Sustainable Connections and the Opportunity Council’s Community Energy Challenge (CEC). The CEC is a NW Washington Green Jobs and Energy Efficiency Program.
The CEC makes achieving energy efficiency as easy as possible from start to finish. The program provides each participating household and business with quality information, a full energy assessment (and water assessment for City of Bellingham water customers), a customized energy action plan detailing cost-effective measures, assistance with utility and tax rebates, reliable contractors, and quality assurance.
The goals of the City’s partnership with the CEC are to:
- Educate single-family residential water customers about water consumption and no-cost and low-cost conservation opportunities, and the water-energy relationship.
- Reduce drinking water use within residences and businesses through conservation measures.
- Provide local case study examples to other residential and commercial water customers on water conservation fixtures/equipment and savings through installation and operation.
- Provide financial support in the form of a rebate for approved water conservation measures.
Please contact the Operations Division of the Public Works Department if you would like more information about Water Conservation.