REEEP Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership
Competition for energy and water resources is escalating in Lesotho. Sustaining ready access to drinking water has become a social, economic and political imperative. Although energy and water issues used to be examined separately, it is now a well-known fact that they are deeply interconnected. Finding solutions to these issues requires a broad-based collaborative and interdisciplinary approach.
As part of the World Bank-funded Lesotho Water Sector Improvement Project, WASCO mandated Econoler in 2008 to conduct a series of preliminary and detailed energy audits in order to identify cost-effective energy-saving opportunities in its water and wastewater treatment facilities. These audits served as the basis to establish a program for energy management in these facilities.
In the second phase of this project, REEEP mandated Econoler in mid-2009 to develop a national initiative for reducing energy consumption in Lesotho’s water and wastewater utilities. More specifically, Econoler helped increase energy savings in Lesotho through better management of water treatment plant equipment and through implementing an awareness program for water consumers that focused on waste reduction in water usage.
Econoler carried out the following activities in Phase I of the project:
- Carried out a series of preliminary (walk-through) energy audits to collect data and identify the most promising energy-saving opportunities among WASCO’s water and wastewater facilities.
- Conducted detailed energy audits, which involved: 1) running tests and making measurements to quantify energy uses and losses of electric and mechanical equipment and installations; 2) assessing pumps’ real-time performance against the manufacturer’s specifications; 3) estimating costs of implementing energy efficiency (EE); and 4) determining energy use for each function, etc.
- Developed an energy management program. This task involved completing the following steps: 1) conducting cost savings analyses; 2) identifying efficiency monitoring devices for pumps and motors; 3) providing cost estimates for providing and installing energy optimization equipment; 4) setting priorities and outlining task-specific operations; 5) identifying energy management opportunities; 6) specifying appropriate hardware and software for monitoring equipment performance; and 7) preparing bidding documents for the procurement and commissioning of the specified software and hardware.
- Conducted a final mission in Lesotho to present the project outputs and train key personnel on working with energy management systems.
With financial support from REEEP, Econoler implemented Phase II of the project from mid-2009 to mid-2011, by carrying out the following main activities:
- Analyzed the barriers to improving EE in water and wastewater treatment plants and reducing water consumption at the end-user level.
- Developed an EE management plan tailored to the needs of the WASCO facilities.
- Developed an awareness-raising campaign for water end-users to educate them on simple water conservation tips and related potential benefits.
- Assisted WASCO in implementing initial demonstration projects at a few selected facilities.
- Developed a scaled-up initiative by drafting a request for proposals for implementing more EE investments to introduce the use of ESCO financing schemes.
- Designed measurement and verification protocols for water and energy savings generated by pilot projects in compliance with the IPMVP protocol.
- Held a best-practice workshop for governmental institutions and private sector representatives to help expand the use of the approach developed to other public and private facilities in the country.
- The implementation of both project phases resulted in significant reductions in energy consumption, peak demand, water wastage and carbon emissions for the WASCO, as well as in better management of their water and wastewater pumping and treatment costs. Moreover, it led to the development of a sustainable approach to energy and water conservation for the WASCO, which is expected to generate significant social, economic and environmental benefits to all water consumers in Lesotho in the long run.