Posted on April 11, 2017

Drought or Not, PG&E Assists Farmers with New Water Management Technology

By Deanna Contreras and Lynsey Paulo

In support of Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for all customers to make water conservation a new way of life, even as he declared the official end to the current drought, PG&E is announcing new water management tools for agricultural customers.

The governor’s order lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. These supplies will continue to be a challenge for the state. That’s one reason why PG&E is working with Wexus Technologies to enable conservation of both water and energy, through an energy management software system that is now available to agriculture customers.

One of the most significant energy uses on farms is moving and pumping water. Wexus remotely connects pumps, buildings, PG&E electric SmartMeters and water flow meters via cloud technology. This gives agriculture customers another option to track, interpret, and manage their water and energy use effectively.

“Water conservation and energy management go hand-in-hand,”  said Deborah Affonsa, vice president of PG&E Customer Service. ”PG&E works closely with our customers to relentlessly pursue opportunities that enable us to deliver actionable insights and meaningful services at the grid-edge. We value the close working relationships we have with our agricultural customers and look forward to continuing to work with them to provide innovative, holistic solutions that help manage their overall operations.”

“Smart energy and water management makes a lot of financial sense for growers,” said Chris Terrell, CEO and co-founder of Wexus Technologies. “And drought or no drought, water and energy conserving technology deployed in farming operations is a competitive advantage. We’re glad to be working with PG&E to make water and energy conservation a way of life.”

PG&E will continue to work with the agricultural community to manage water and energy use through a variety of existing programs and incentives. Energy efficiency programs help agricultural customers increase the efficiency of their pumps and irrigation systems, reducing the energy intensity and cost of their operations. PG&E offers a variety of incentives for investments in energy efficient equipment, zero interest financing for qualified projects, and many forms of technical expertise and training services.

PG&E agricultural customers have saved more than 538 million kilowatt hours and 19 million therms of energy through the company’s energy efficiency programs and rebates since 2011.

The energy saved is enough to power nearly 50,000 homes for one year or remove the equivalent of 100,000 vehicles from the road for one year. That adds up to more than $81 million dollars in rebates in the last six years, since the recent drought first began.

Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.

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