A diverse group of entrepreneurs, business leaders and government employees spent an afternoon learning about Helix’s sustainability and energy saving practices last week.

The tour, hosted by the Port of San Diego’s Green Business Network, visited Helix Water District’s Nat L. Eggert Operations Center in El Cajon and R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant in Lakeside.

Pumping, treating and moving water from its source to customers’ taps requires a tremendous amount of energy. Helix spent $2.2 million dollars on energy costs in fiscal year 2017-18.

Controlling energy costs and their impact on water rates, is a priority for the district. Over the past 10 years, Helix’s commitment to sustainability has resulted in a 25 percent reduction in its electricity consumption while continuing to provide a safe and reliable water supply to its customers.

Photo – Tour visitors got a close-up look at Helix’s energy efficiency practices, including:

  • A 240 MW solar shade structure, which produces 100 percent of the Nat L. Eggert Operations Center’s electricity
  • 10 electric vehicle-charging stations, funded through SDG&E’s Power Your Drive program
  • Improved motor control and electrical efficiency at the district’s 25 pump stations
  • Scheduling of major pumps and motors to operate during the off-peak hours
  • Installation of efficient lighting and HVAC systems at district facilities

“We enjoy sharing our energy saving practices with community members,” said Joe Garuba, Helix’s Facilities Manager. “We hope other businesses and agencies can apply some of our practices in their own fields of work so that they can also succeed with their energy-related goals.”

This past April, Helix was honored by San Diego Gas & Electric at their Annual Energy Showcase for Excellence In Energy Leadership. The Port of San Diego’s Green Business Network is comprised of businesses and facilities looking to reduce energy, water and waste, reached out to the district following the awards ceremony.

Learn more about Helix’s sustainability efforts and view SDG&E’s video here.