Cutting Energy Waste Could Be Big for Utilities
Mazi Fayazfar | Electric Light & Power
Utilities and their customers around the world lose an estimated $96 billion annually to electricity theft and other types of non-technical losses (NTL) such as billing errors and unmetered consumption, according to a recent study from the Northeast Group, a Washington, D.C.-based market research firm specializing in energy and infrastructure.
In the U.S., the industry consensus puts NTL for electricity somewhere between 0.5 and 2 percent of revenues, costing utilities and their customers somewhere between $2 and $8 billion annually based on annual retail electricity sales of $390 billion, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. This problem not only costs consumers money but also creates serious safety issues in the field and distribution system.
According to statistics from the American Water Works Association, we lose 7 billion gallons of treated water a day to everything from leaky pipes to creaky infrastructure to running toilets. That constitutes somewhere between 14 and 18 percent of the water put into the system. When you consider the amount of energy required to treat and pump clean water, these losses compound themselves in many ways…(Read the full story)