Warren nets rebate for reatment plant efficiency

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published June 25, 2014

WARREN — Warren’s efforts to do more with less — in this case, less power — earned the city a $51,920 rebate from DTE Energy this year.

The rebate, given to the city in late April, was a result of the installation of a more efficient compressor for the secondary aeration process at the Warren Waste Water Treatment Plant.

David Monette, division head at the plant, said the city installed a 650 horsepower turbo compressor in early 2013 to replace a 1,250 horsepower compressor.

“We were able to operate the same process much more efficiently with a smaller, more efficient blower,” Monette said. “We have a whole project going on at the plant where we’re looking at all of our energy usage. We’ve done improvements in lighting, improvements in building envelope and we have improvements in process control, which is a big energy use.

“All of these things combined have ended up saving a lot of money. This is one aspect of that,” Monette said.

DTE Energy Account Manager Paul Cramer appeared alongside Warren officials and representatives of Johnson Controls, which partnered with the city to implement efficiencies at the plant.

The rebate is part of the DTE Energy Efficiency Program for businesses engaged in projects that successfully achieve energy savings and positively influence other customers.

“Really what they did was they downsized their motor. What they put in was not standard technology,” Cramer said. “They went up in efficiency like you as a homeowner would do for a furnace.”

Johnson Controls account executive Daniel Mack said the size of the rebate for one single improvement was unique.

“The whole program is saving the city $11 million over the next 15 years. Those savings are being used to do all these necessary upgrades to the plant and to continue to provide quality service,” Mack said.

Monette added that the ongoing plan was designed to reduce operating costs and save money for the taxpayers. The city of Warren buys water from Detroit but handles its own wastewater treatment.

“There’s always a big debate about water rates,” Monette said. “These are some of the things we’re doing to maintain lower rates for the residents of Warren.”