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Focus on Energy: Trade Ally Announcement

Wastewater treatment plants play a critical role in protecting public health and the environment. However, water resource facilities require a significant amount of energy, making energy efficiency a crucial consideration for retrofits and new construction sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

When facilities implement energy-efficient practices, the wastewater plants can significantly reduce their pressure on the electrical grid and leave a positive impact on their communities. Another added bonus, energy efficiency measures taken by wastewater treatment plants can lead to substantial cost savings. Energy is notorious as one of the highest operational expenses at a facility. By making an investment in energy-efficient technologies and practices, operators can reduce energy consumption and minimize associated costs. Additionally, improvements in energy efficiency can open doors to incentive programs, grants, and tax incentives offered by governments and environmental agencies.

Wisconsin's Focus on Energy is an energy saving program for residents, as well as businesses and municipalities. The program was designed to help residential and municipal customers make smart, energy-minded decisions when upgrading products (from light bulbs to wastewater aeration equipment.)

In each area of a wastewater facility, operators and engineers are familiar with certain manufacturers or pieces of equipment. Although there is name recognition and history with traditional technology, it doesn't necessarily mean the equipment is the best choice for a retrofit or new build. At ICS Group, our slogan is "Innovative Technology, Proven Results." We pride ourselves in identifying new process wastewater technology that help communities meet and exceed their permit goals, while saving energy and money.

Recently, ICS Group has been approved as a Focus on Energy Trade Ally. We are proud to share this information with our engineering partners, local wastewater operators, and mechanical contractors in Wisconsin.

What exactly is a Focus on Energy Trade Ally? Here is an explanation:

According to Focus on Energy, "Trade Allies are valuable contractors and service providers who partner with Focus on Energy to deliver energy efficiency and renewable energy products and expertise directly to Wisconsin residents and businesses."

Focus on Energy partners with companies like ICS Group to connect decision makers with energy-efficient options for wastewater upgrades.

Focus on Energy Advisor & Ally Locator

To find your local Focus on Energy Advisor, click Resources and Energy Advisor Map. Select the type of service you are interested in on the left. If you work with a municipality, you will select School & Government. This will bring up a map of Wisconsin and the individual advisors that serve your particular area.

Image Courtesy of Focus on Energy - Focus on Energy Advisor Maps

Municipal Wastewater Facilities

Energy efficiency goes hand in hand with optimizing the overall operation of wastewater treatment plants. By investing in energy-efficient equipment and processes, plants can improve reliability, reduce downtime, and minimize maintenance costs.

According to Focus on Energy, "The energy used by water and wastewater utilities can account for up to 35% of typical municipal energy budgets. Electricity use accounts for 25%–40% of the operating budgets for wastewater utilities and approximately 80% of drinking water processing and distribution costs. Source:

"Focus on Energy can help improve energy efficiency through equipment upgrades, operational modifications, and facility improvements. Our team of dedicated Water and Wastewater Energy Advisors are here to help you realize your energy-saving potential."

Custom Incentives for Wastewater Facilities

Custom incentives are for energy efficient and renewable energy upgrades at water and wastewater facilities. These incentives are for non-standard technologies (such as process equipment) or for projects which do not include a 1-for-1 replacement (such as lightbulbs.) According to Focus on Energy, "Custom incentive amounts are determined by the estimated first-year energy savings when completing energy efficiency or renewable energy upgrades to equipment or processes. Custom projects must involve measures which result in a permanent reduction in electric and/or natural gas energy usage due to an improvement in system efficiency."

To view the full Custom Incentive Guide, click here.

How to Apply for a Custom Incentive

First things first, pre-approval is required prior to ordering equipment, issuing purchase orders or contracting labor. The Focus on Energy Incentive pre-approval relies upon the energy savings calculations, project costs and documentation of how Focus on Energy Influenced the project.

Here are some helpful steps:

  1. Contact your Focus on Energy Advisor.

  2. What You Will Need:  Complete the Custom Project Information Form, include a detailed scope of work, detailed proposal for qualifying upgrades, the manufacturer specification sheets for proposed equipment, and historical utility data.

  3. Understand incentive rates and program requirements.

  4. Request incentive preapproval.

  5. Complete your custom project.

Focus on Energy will review all energy saving calculations submitted as part of the pre-approval process. It is important to know that Focus on Energy is solely responsible for the final determination of the annual energy savings to be used in calculating the incentive amount.

The Way Forward

The importance of energy efficiency in wastewater treatment plants cannot be overstated. Energy-saving measures not only lower operational costs but also contribute towards achieving sustainability goals and reducing environmental impact. The adoption of innovative technologies and practices is crucial in ensuring a greener and more efficient future for our water recovery facilities.

Collaboration between government agencies, environmental organizations, equipment manufacturers, wastewater engineers, and treatment plant operators is vital in advocating for and implementing energy-efficient solutions in this crucial sector.

To learn more about our innovative and energy efficient wastewater process equipment, please contact our team to discuss your project. We look forward to your trusted Focus on Energy Trade Ally.

References: Focus on Energy. Water & Wastewater Facilities. Water & Wastewater Facilities | Focus on Energy

Focus on Energy. Custom Incentives. BIZ-Custom_Incentive_OV.pdf (

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