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Wastewater operators can cut energy use, costs through SWIFt program partnership

LANSING — The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy will partner with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to work with wastewater facilities to implement energy-saving practices as part of the Better Buildings Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) Initiative.

Municipal wastewater treatment systems in the United States are typically the largest energy users in a community, according to DOE, and facilities that participated in SWIFt’s first phase reduced their total energy consumption by almost 8% in three years. The program worked with more than 70 wastewater facilities across the country to incorporate energy management and sustainability practices as well as develop a training toolkit.

Under SWIFt Phase 2, EGLE will provide technical assistance to interested municipal facilities to put into practice the resources found in the SWIFt Toolkit or participate in the SWIFt Energy Recovery Accelerator. Facility operators participating in SWIFt Phase 2 can also leverage DOE expertise to identify opportunities to achieve targeted short-term energy savings of 5 percent and long-term savings of 25 percent.

EGLE will assist participating facility operators in developing an infrastructure improvement plan that includes best-practice energy performance tracking, a package of technologies with a focus on resource recovery and a concrete financing model.

There is no cost to sign up for SWIFt Phase 2. Contact engineer Jake Wilkinson in EGLE’s Energy Services section at WilkinsonJ8@Michigan.gov or 517-290-7995 for more information.

Facility staff who participate in the training are eligible for continuing education credits.

Details about DOE’s SWIFt program can be found at betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov.

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