A prescription for medical facility energy management

A goal of energy productivity can not only reduce energy costs, but also improve energy reliability and a hospital's long-term financial health

By Healthcare Facilities Today
January 8, 2014

In a typical hospital, lighting, heating and hot water represent between 61 and 79 percent of total energy use depending on climate, making those systems the low-hanging targets for energy savings, according to an article on the Healthcare Construction and Operations website.

Turning off the lights, more efficient HVAC and medical equipment, green roofs, water conservation and high-efficiency lighting systems all lower energy costs, but they also have a floor as to how low energy costs can be reduced, the article said.

Continuous conservation and efficiency improvements are important quick-fix elements in energy cost reduction but may not be sufficient to effectively manage a hospital’s long-term energy and profitability strategy. LED bulbs and more efficient equipment reduce electricity demand don't necessarily make a medical facility more energy productive.

To measure energy productivity, many facilities operators measure the cost per surface area or square foot. If a hospital consumes six watts per square foot, would it be able to reduce that by half by implementing more efficient HVAC and light bulbs? Probably not, according to the article. 

Geisinger Health System, Danville, Penn., grew it's facility’s square feet and still reduce it's overall energy bill by focusing on energy productivity, the article said.

Geisinger set out to lower the energy bill for its 2.6 million-square-foot main campus. It developed a comprehensive energy management plan that included participation in energy markets, the installation of a cogeneration plant, a combustion turbine to make electricity and a waste heat recovery boiler along with a combination of other energy productivity strategies.

Read the article.





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