Energy and water: The Odd Couple?
Energy Event in Birmingham showed how efficiency in one can benefit the other.
We’re just back from the Energy Event at Birmingham’s NEC… now we’re not saying the queue outside was as long as they were for The X Factor auditions, but for anyone involved with the utility industry, there was a lot to see.
One of the best things about it for us was the opportunity to show delegates the very close connections between water and energy.
There’s a perception that, because water in the UK (and in Scotland in particular) falls out of the sky in such copious volumes, it’s no great effort to make it suitable for use in homes and businesses.
However, we’ve long been advocates for raising awareness of how water gets from a raindrop to part of the water network, since there’s a lot involved. Surface water on roofs and roads has to be drained away and treated, all of which involves energy. The water has to be moved, for a start, then stored in plants where it’s made safe for use via various treatments. It’s then moved to homes and businesses. Many industrial businesses then use this water in processes, say to make beer, which often ends up back in our homes!
Energy is a hugely important industry for the UK, but the focus tends to be directly on the generation and supply of electricity, and the many various aspects of that. We really believe the water industry needs to work hard to raise awareness of how it can help reduce the amount of energy businesses use by encouraging greater water efficiency. Our trip to Birmingham was a good way to do that, and we spent a lot of time speaking to our customers and delegates on the subject.
The Business Stream team at the Energy Event was also able to demonstrate how automated meter readers (AMRs) – more commonly called smart meters in the electricity industry – can be used by businesses to measure water use, reduce bills and be greener. Keep your eyes on the blog for a bit more on smart meters very soon.