Press contact: Lisa Van Riper
(703) 549-3381 x 2232
Alexandria, Va. (February 7, 2017) – AlexRenew received two National Environmental Achievement Awards (NEAA) at the National Association of Clean Water Agencies’ (NACWA) winter conference in Tampa, Fla. The awards recognize both AlexRenew’s energy savings and digital communications initiatives.
Transforming water is an energy-intensive process. As a top energy user in Alexandria, AlexRenew can continue to improve the environment and manage costs by saving energy. AlexRenew has set a goal of reducing its total energy consumption by 25 percent over the next 10 years.
In 2016 alone, the wastewater utility decreased its total energy consumption by 13 percent per million gallons treated, and between 2011 and 2016, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent. AlexRenew also reuses about 150 million cubic feet of the methane gas produced while cleaning water. This has enabled AlexRenew to offset 32 percent of its purchased energy costs, saving more than $600,000.
“Being sustainable is a win for our local environment and our ratepayers,” said Karen Pallansch, CEO of AlexRenew. “Wastewater utilities have a tremendous opportunity to improve the health and environment of their communities, but we can’t do it alone. We need the public to understand their clean water investment and their role in protecting our watershed.”
To spread awareness and help inspire water stewardship, AlexRenew has developed a comprehensive online public education program over the past two years. Alexandria is an extremely diverse community, with one of the fastest growing millennial populations in the country, according to U.S. Census data. This, coupled with the fact that more people are relying on social media for news and information, drove AlexRenew to identify new communication tools and strategies to effectively reach its ratepayers and community members.
AlexRenew now engages daily with the community on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. While these platforms target different demographics, all are used to educate the public about AlexRenew’s work, the value of water, and the role the utility plays in protecting the region’s local waterways.
NACWA represents public wastewater and stormwater agencies of all sizes nationwide. The association’s National Environmental Achievement Award Program recognizes individuals and NACWA member agencies that have made outstanding contributions to environmental protection and the clean water community. More information about the award can be found at http://www.nacwa.org/about-us/awards/national-environmental-achievement-award-program.
About Alexandria Renew Enterprises:
Alexandria Renew Enterprises (AlexRenew) is an advanced water resource recovery facility serving more than 300,000 customers in Alexandria and Fairfax, Virginia. Established by the Alexandria City Council in 1952, AlexRenew is a public utility that transforms 13 billion gallons of wastewater into clean water every year to protect public health and the environment. By transforming water and improving local waterways, AlexRenew helps support a higher quality of life and thriving local economy. For more information, please visit www.alexrenew.com.