More than eight million veterans are provided access to healthcare through the U.S. Veterans Health Administration, the country’s largest healthcare system. As part of the federal program, the VA Connecticut Healthcare system encompasses two ambulatory care centers and six primary care community-based outpatient clinics across the state serving approximately 56,000 patients.
Under the Veterans Health Administration, VA Medical Centers have a number of energy conservation programs and construction goals to meet. Recently, the ambulatory care center and inpatient facility in West Haven, Conn., partnered with The United Illuminating Company (UI) to develop strategic plans and assess financial assistance for energy efficiency projects. They aimed to minimize wasted resources and reduce operating costs to help meet their conservation goals.
With UI’s resources, the VA Medical Center upgraded to high-efficiency interior lighting through the Energy Conscious Blueprint program, as part of the Energize Connecticut initiative. The program provided assistance and installation of high-quality lighting systems, using cost-effective modern lighting technologies to replace old fixtures.
“Patient care is our top priority. The installation plan provided by Energize Connecticut was customized to our needs, making upgrades to one room at a time to accommodate our patient care areas,” said Joseph Simonetta of the VA Medical Center. “By investing in energy efficiency now, we’re saving money that can be put toward additional improvements in patient care in the future.”
The VA Medical Center installed almost 50 high performance T8 fluorescent light fixtures in patient rooms, administration buildings, staff offices and utility rooms. They received $1,667 in incentives to make the energy efficient upgrades. With the savings achieved, UI estimates the timeframe for the VA Medical Center to repay the cost of the project to be 2.3 years. Over a 15-year period, the lighting improvements are estimated to save 69,900 kwH annually or $12,500.
“For the medical and healthcare industry, we understand that patient care is prioritized above all else,” said Donna S. Wells, Director Energy Services Commercial and Industrial of The United Illuminating Company. “By working through the programs, energy efficiency upgrades are feasible for medical facilities, allowing them to reduce operating costs and focus on their primary goal.”