OCWA Pilot Program Pays You to Reduce Power Usage

mai 5, 2017

Earn a cash incentive on every kWh of energy savings

Water and wastewater treatment plants can be energy hogs. But did you know you can maximize energy efficiency in your plant operations while keeping costs down? More and more of our clients are taking advantage of OCWA's comprehensive pilot program that identifies opportunities for energy savings, recommends the best available technologies to do the job, and then pays an incentive on the savings once retrofits or upgrades are completed. 

Indra Maharjan, OCWA's Program Manager, Energy Conservation and Climate Change, explains: "We look primarily at energy efficiencies that can be gained through equipment retrofit, process optimization, and operational and behavioral changes. Measurement and Verification and Monitoring and Targeting tools are used to help in the process of benchmarking and validating annual energy and cost savings."

Once the energy efficiency changes are completed, OCWA offers a pay-for-performance (P4P) incentive for every kilowatt hour of verified annual energy savings from the project. The incentive is made possible through financial support from the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), to a maximum of 50 per cent of eligible project costs. 

More than 120 Ontario municipalities have already accessed OCWA's energy services, resulting in 80 energy efficient retrofit projects. To date, these projects have generated approximately 20,000 GWh in cumulative annual energy savings and have received more than $1 million in incentives through the IESO Save on Energy program and the new OCWA/IESO P4P Pilot Energy Initiative. 

The P4P program is delivered through OCWA to its customers on behalf of IESO. With P4P, water professionals from OCWA support and manage the entire process on behalf of the client. OCWA's Energy team is comprised of interdisciplinary team members ranging from process specialists, SCADA technicians, licensed operators and asset management specialists.

"Water and wastewater treatment is a complex process with many factors that influence energy consumption," says Indra. "OCWA has a deep understanding of operations at many water and wastewater treatment plants across the province and we can leverage this knowledge to accurately assess current energy consumption, estimate savings and recommend solutions that will yield the best return on investment while still considering compliance as paramount." 

OCWA's energy program approach aligns with municipalities' Conservation Demand Management (CDM) Plan, Community Energy Plan (CEP) and Asset Management Plan (AMP).

With the renewed focus on AMPs and federal commitments to infrastructure investment, municipalities are being required to engage in a more detailed analysis of their assets and operations. This is a good opportunity for municipalities to look at their water/wastewater systems through an "energy lens" and see where they can increase efficiency by adopting innovative energy-saving solutions.

"Energy efficiencies adopted through the P4P program will continue to generate future savings beyond the payback period," Indra says. "We encourage all Ontario municipalities to consider participating in the program to earn reimbursement incentives and save money over the long term and make their plants more efficient both in terms of process and energy." 

The IESO has just extended the term of OCWA's P4P pilot program until June 30, 2019, and we are looking forward to helping more clients save energy and money. This program is exclusively available to OCWA operated facilities and OCWA will take care of the entire process on behalf of municipalities.

Projects that are eligible for the P4P Pilot Energy Initiative include: 

  • Equipment Retrofit (pumps, blowers, motors, compressors)
  • Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) installation
  • SCADA Upgrades with power monitoring component for facility and major process systems
  • Aeration Systems Upgrades
  • Operational Changes

Learn how OCWA helped the City of Stratford save $68,000 in annual operating costs and earn $58,000 in program incentives. 

For more information about OCWA's P4P Pilot Energy Initiative, please contact your local Regional Hub Manager or Business Development Manager. Contact details can be found at