Industry Experts: COO Thoughts on Sustainability & Energy in Utility Management
The utility industry is pivotal in our society, providing essential services such as electricity and water. However, as the world faces increasing environmental challenges, we must address the issue of sustainability and energy in utility management head-on. We asked Envocore’s COO, Francis Wheeler, how he believes the utility industry can contribute to achieving a more sustainable future.
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How can the utility industry contribute to achieving a more sustainable future?
“For our businesses, energy efficiency is clearly the lowest cost for a sustainable future. Using less energy and water to provide the same product or service, such as lighting, heating, transportation, and moving to renewable energy sources, increases energy efficiency. We must be efficient in our utility provisioning before fully evaluating appropriate sustainability.”
What are some of the biggest challenges that utility companies face when implementing sustainable practices?
“Many challenges include people’s reluctance or unwillingness to change their habits, preferences, or practices to adopt more sustainable ones due to a lack of motivation, incentives, or support. They may also need more time, resources, skills, or technology to implement sustainability in live events. Other challenges include the first cost of ownership, legislative restrictions, and simple access to the appropriate types of sustainable production.”
How has Envocore been able to help utility companies increase their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint?
“We have saved billions of gallons of water through end-user efficiency over the past 30 years. We have done the same in energy with over 34,000 projects designed and implemented globally.”
In your opinion, what role does technology play in promoting sustainability in the utilities industry?
“Technology is paramount in the future of all resource efficiency. The ability to harvest other, more efficient energy sources is the key to long-term acceptance and leveraging of all sustainable solutions.”
Can you describe a successful project that Envocore has completed in sustainable utility management?
“I would have to say Jefferson County. Jefferson County facilities consist of a wide variety of building types to support the many needs of the county’s community, including its largest city, Beaumont. Envocore performed a detailed site survey and delivered a complete water balance across more than 100 facilities, such as the airport, courthouses, police and fire stations, parks, maintenance facilities, and correctional buildings, to understand these facilities’ usage patterns and identify energy-saving opportunities.
Across the county, many of these facilities seriously needed plumbing system improvements. Beyond new water fixtures, the county was also interested in implementing new safety and surveillance systems in the detention facilities. With this in mind, Envocore provided the correctional complexes with water savings fixtures and incorporated advanced water system controls to further aid in the facility’s water control to inmate areas.
Overall, the duration of this project was 145 days. There was a 40% water reduction at the Jefferson County Detentions Facility with a calculated annual savings of $146,000.”
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In conclusion, our conversation with the COO of Envocore has provided valuable insights into sustainability and energy in utility management. We have learned how the utility industry can contribute to a more sustainable future while also addressing the challenges they face in implementing sustainable practices. Envocore’s expertise in energy management has been crucial in helping utility companies improve energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint.
Francis Wheeler emphasized the important role of technology in promoting sustainability in the utility industry and shared a successful project that demonstrates Envocore’s positive impact on sustainable utility management. It is evident that by implementing the right strategies, practices, and technological advancements, utility companies can lead the way toward a greener and more sustainable future.
Ready to improve energy efficiency at your facility? Contact us today to learn more.