The Climate Registry has recognized Helix Water District as a Water-Energy Leader Gold organization after the district reduced its electric use by 15% and greenhouse gas emissions by 40%.
The Climate Registry made the announcement this month after the University of San Diego’s Energy Policy Initiative Center confirmed the district’s 2019 and 2021 total greenhouse gas emissions are 40% lower than those in 2009. EPIC’s findings were verified by a third party.
Helix achieved these reductions through a comprehensive lighting retrofit program, new lighting management system and an upgrade to the HVAC system at the district’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant. Helix also transitioned its diesel fleet to 100% renewable diesel fuel.
These efforts complement the district’s previous sustainability projects including installing solar panels at its operations center, load shifting at its treatment plant and pump stations to off-peak periods and obtaining grants to install electric vehicle charging stations at its facilities.
“This award is a testament to the fact you can be a good steward of the environment while also making sound financial decisions,” said Helix Board President Kathleen Coates Hedberg. “We found that energy efficiency is very similar to water conservation. You take advantage of every opportunity to save a little bit, because there isn’t one thing that will get you to the finish line. But together they have an impact.”
The Climate Registry is a non-profit organization that helps companies, governments and institutions reduce their emissions. Their Water-Energy Nexus Registry is sponsored by the California Environmental Protection Agency and allows water and energy utilities and cities to measure, track, and mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions associated with California’s water system.
As a local water agency, Helix Water District is not required to report or disclose greenhouse gas emissions. However, through this voluntary reporting, Helix demonstrates how thoughtful planning, coupled with a desire to be a good steward of the environment, can make large impacts on greenhouse gas reductions.
Prior to being named a Water-Energy Gold Leader by the Climate Registry, Helix was awarded the 2019 Public Sector Excellence in Energy Leadership by San Diego Gas & Electric.