Optimising the energy consumption and energy generation of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) is a topic with increasing importance for water utilities in times of rising energy costs and pressures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Assessing the energy efficiency and energy optimisation of a WWTP are difficult tasks as most plants vary greatly in size, process layout and other influencing factors. To overcome these limits it is necessary to compare energy efficiency with a statistically relevant base to identify shortfalls and optimisation potential. Such energy benchmarks have been successfully developed and used in central Europe over the last two decades. This paper demonstrates how the latest available energy benchmarks from Germany have been applied to 24 WWTPs in South Australia. It shows how energy benchmarking can be used to identify shortfalls in current performance, prioritise detailed energy assessments and help inform decisions on capital investment.

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