City of West Richland Saves $41K with Energy Efficiency

City of West Richland employees accept a rebate from Benton REA. Left to Right: Dustin Miller, wastewater treatment plant operator; Tony Simon, energy smart industrial partner with Cascade Engineering; Roscoe Slade, public works director; Mayor Brent Gerry; Troy Berglund, community development and member relations manager with Benton REA; Randy Paulson, sewer operations supervisor and Michael Maier, wastewater treatment plant operator.

In two years, the City of West Richland saved $41,092 and reduced their energy use by 637,450 kilowatt hours at its Wastewater Treatment Plant, earning them an additional incentive from the Benton Rural Electric Association.

Most of the savings were achieved by installing equipment on existing HVAC units and aeration and blower controls which provides live data on the efficiency of their motor processes.

“This allowed operators to calibrate the equipment to achieve the twin goals of effectiveness and energy savings,” said Eric Miller, Benton REA’s energy advisor.

The team at the wastewater treatment plant reduced energy costs by 30 percent, saving the city over $23,000 per year. Benton REA was able to award the City $17,379 over two years for their efforts to reduce energy use. Troy Berglund, community development and member relations manager with the cooperative, presented the final check to the City at its November 6 council meeting.

“Reducing energy at this magnitude allows for new industrial development within the City of West Richland without having to add substations or other large infrastructure investments,” said Berglund. “Their kilowatt hour savings also helps to keep rates low for all Benton REA members and helps save the City, and its residents, money.”

Savings will continue at the wastewater treatment plant due in part to the efficiency training its operators received from Bonneville Power Administration’s Energy Smart Industrial Partners. These energy experts worked with City employees to discover unnecessary energy use as they trained operators how to reduce it. The training was provided to the City at no cost through Benton REA’s energy efficiency programs.

Businesses interested in reducing their energy use can contact Benton REA at 509-786-8265 to learn more about the co-op’s commercial and industrial incentives and programs.

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