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 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.

A core aspect of the CPUC’s work on the Water/Energy Nexus is the Water-Energy Calculator (W-E Calculator). The first version of the W-E Calculator was released in 2016. In December 2021, the CPUC released the significantly updated W-E Calculator 2.0. Like its predecessor, the W-E Calculator 2.0 estimates the embedded energy savings (in kWh) of water-efficiency measures. However, while the previous calculator also estimated the avoided embedded energy cost and the avoided water-capacity cost, all cost-effectiveness functions have been removed from the W-E Calculator 2.0 and are now calculated in the CPUC’s Cost Effectiveness Tool (CET).

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. 

 R.13-12-011 now has 4 tracks focused on implementation of D.15-09-011. They are listed below, along with related documents. 

Track 1: AMI Utilization in Water and Energy Savings

On January 19, 2016, a workshop was held on the topic of water and energy agency pilots to utilize the use of Advance Metering Infrastructure to maximize water and energy savings. Presentations are below.

Track 2:  Matinee Pricing Tariff Pilots

On February 24, 2016, a workshop was held on the topic of matinee pricing. Presentations are below.

Track 3: Water Energy Cost Effectiveness Calculator 2.0

Track 4: Water / Energy /Telecommunications Nexus

Water Energy Communications Workshop at CalOES – telecommunications to better manage water and energy, ensure public safety and enhance fire safety in the State of California

Part 1:
Part 2: 

Upcoming Workshops:

  • None at this time

Past Workshops:

  • On October 8, 2020 a stakeholder webinar was held to present the draft Water-Energy Calculator 2.0 (W-E Calc. 2.0), and to provide a demo of this new tool.  The presentation also kicked off a 1-month stakeholder beta testing period for the W-E Calc. 2.0  See below links for a full recording of the meeting, a copy of slides presented, as well as the draft W-E Calc. 2.0 and user guide.
  • On March 3rd, 2020 a workshop was held to share the draft WEN Workplan and solicit stakeholder feedback. Stakeholders were invited to make comments or ask questions during the meeting, and there was an opportunity for informal written comment submission after the workshop as well.

Water Energy Programs:

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.