3 Practices That Can Help Utilities Reach Their Sustainability Goals

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Does your organization have clean-energy goals? You’re not alone.

According to a recent survey from Deloitte, over 75% of utility executives rank climate risk and sustainability as top priorities in their operational and planning agendas.

This reflects a transformative shift in the energy industry. Sustainability is more than compliance—it’s also about advancing your utility’s position as an innovator and responsible leader. As you refine your utility’s approach for a green economy, you may wonder, “Where’s the best place to start?” We’ve asked ourselves the same question and identified three actionable and impactful strategies that make a difference.

  1. Audit your equipment for sustainable alternatives

An easy first step is to check the current state of your equipment and systems. You likely have older equipment that now has a more sustainable alternative. This presents an opportunity to upgrade and invest in sustainability for the long term. Recent technological advancements have made it considerably easier to shift to resource- and cost-efficient options.

A good example of this is medium-voltage pad-mounted switchgear. More options exist today that can help you lower your organization’s carbon footprint:

  • Air-insulated switchgear: The materials required for air-insulated gear are lighter and more recyclable compared to those used in sealed switchgear, which is why it has a lower carbon footprint. It’s a green and economical solution for many applications.
  • SF6-free sealed switchgear: For higher-duty applications that require more than air insulation, sealed switchgear is an alternative. S&C's Vista® SD (solid dielectric) and Vista® Green Underground Distribution Switchgear eliminate the use of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas. Vista Green switchgear is a versatile option that lowers carbon footprint without impacting performance.
  1. Prioritize equipment management

Choosing equipment with lower maintenance needs and a longer lifespan can help you reduce your environmental impact. Maintaining equipment as advised and taking advantage of available upgrades can further extend its life, reducing waste and replacement costs. Developing a plan for the appropriate reuse, recycling, and disposal of equipment ensures you’ve also prioritized sustainable equipment management practices at the end of the lifespan.

To assist customers with managing their equipment responsibly, companies like S&C offer:

  • Maintenance services: S&C’s Assessment Management Program can be a resource for monitoring and maintaining equipment to extend performance life and protect against unplanned and costly outages.
  • Products to extend operating life. Our EdgeRestore® Underground Distribution Restoration System adds resilience to underground loops, extending the life of aging cable systems. The system is easily installed inside existing pad-mounted transformers, allowing utilities to automate underground circuits without the need for extra concrete, steel, or cables.
  • Full product life-cycle programs. At S&C, we are introducing a program that focuses on reclaiming and recycling SF6 gas as well as sustainably disposing of equipment. This service helps our users handle materials appropriately at the end of life.
  1. Leverage product efficiencies

New product innovations automate your systems, adding smart technology that helps you balance efficiency, resource use, and environmental impact. These technologies are helping utilities optimize their operations for a sustainable energy system. For example:

Embracing a Sustainable Approach

The transition to a sustainable energy future requires a steadfast commitment to green practices—both big and small—to drive meaningful change.

At S&C, we are dedicated to supporting utilities in this transformative journey. Our innovative products, focus on sustainability during product development, and lifecycle management approach all demonstrate this commitment.

We invite you to connect with us today to explore how we can collaborate to achieve your sustainability objectives. Together, we can pave the way for a greener, more reliable, and outage-free electric energy future for all.


Joseph Matamoros

Publication Date

April 24, 2024