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An analysis of electricity consumption patterns in the water and wastewater sectors in South East England

Majid, A., Cardenes, I., Zorn, C., Russell, T., Colquhoun, K., Banares-Alcantara, R. and Hall, J.W.
The water and wastewater sectors of England and Wales (E&W) are energy-intensive. Although E&W’s water sector is of international interest, in particular due to the early experience with privatisation, for the time being, few published data on energy usage exist. We analysed telemetry energy-use data from Thames Water Utilities Ltd. (TWUL), the largest water and wastewater company in the UK, which serves one of the largest mega-cities in the world, London. In our analysis, we: (1) break down energy use into their components; (2) present a statistical approach to handling seasonal and random cycles in data; and (3) derive energy-intensity (kWh m−3) metrics and compare them with other regions in the world. We show that electricity use in the sector grew by around 10.8 ± 0.4% year−1 as the utility coped with growing demands and stormwater flooding. The energy-intensity of water services in each of the utility’s service zone was measured in the range 0.46–0.92 kWh m−3. Plans to improve the efficiency of the system could yield benefits in lower energy-intensity, but the overall energy saving would be temporary as external pressures from population and climate change are driving up water and energy use.

Majid, A., Cardenes, I., Zorn, C., Russell, T., Colquhoun, K., Banares-Alcantara, R. and Hall, J.W. (2020) An analysis of electricity consumption patterns in the water and wastewater sectors in South East England, UKWater, 12(1). 225.

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