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Water/Energy Nexus Programs

One of the state’s largest end uses of electricity is in the treatment, heating, and conveyance of water in California. This is known to many as the “Water/Energy Nexus.” The IOUs currently offer many incentive programs in the areas of energy efficiency, demand response, and distributed generation related to the water/energy nexus.  

The CPUC recently authorized a series of pilot programs exploring whether energy savings may be realized through water conservation measures. Implicit in this approach is the concept that saving water saves energy.   The Energy Division is currently analyzing whether an increase in energy efficiency portfolio emphasis on measures that maximize energy savings in the water sector – such as through leak loss detection and enhancement of water systems efficiency – may be warranted.  The Energy Division is also currently considering how cost effectiveness should be analyzed for water/energy nexus programs.

R.13-12-011 grants the Petition for Rulemaking of the Division of Ratepayer Advocates requesting that the Commission open a Rulemaking proceeding to develop a partnership framework between investor owned energy utilities and the water sector to co-fund programs that reduce energy consumption by the water sector in supplying, conveying, treating, and distributing water.


  • UPDATED Water-Energy Calculator Version 1.04 is now available

An updated Water-Energy Calculator Version 1.04 is now available here. This version fixes a units conversion issue in the Water-Energy Calculator affecting the default suggested value for the energy intensity of wastewater treatment and distribution systems. Errata to the report’s Executive Summary reflecting this update are also provided here.

Past Workshops:

Water Energy Programs:


PG&E: Water/Wastewater Programs (offered through industrial sector)


PG&E: Third Party Program for Wastewater Process Optimization (CalPOP)


SCE: Business Solutions for the Water & Wastewater Industry


SCE:  Joint Customer Outreach & Education on Saving Water and Energy


SoCalGas: Rebates & Incentives for the Water Supply and Treatment Facilities


SDG&E: Partnership with San Diego County Water Authority


Embedded Energy in Water Studies and Pilots:


The Commission directed the IOUs to partner with water agencies and implement programs to decrease the amount of energy used to obtain, treat and distribute water to end-use customers.  Read Water Studies 1, 2 and 3 and the Embedded Energy in Water Pilot Programs Impact Evaluation.


Last Modified: 11/20/2015

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