For many healthcare facility managers, urgent and pressing matters include maintaining a safe environment for patients, budget constraints or staff retention issues. Energy management is probably a low priority. Yet healthcare facilities are among the most energy-intensive buildings in the United States.
For-profit hospitals, medical offices and nursing homes can raise their earnings per share a penny by reducing energy costs just five percent, according to an article on the FacilityCare website.
Energy Star recommends a staged approach to energy-efficiency projects. A preliminary feasibility assessment (PFA), completed by an energy engineer, is a good, cost-effective first step, the article said.
After the PFA, low-cost recommendations could include adjustments to thermostats for seasonal changes and occupancy, balancing air and water systems, installing variable frequency drives (VFDs) and energy-efficient motors, implementing advanced control sequences with set-point resets and optimization routines, repairing broken dampers and actuators, replacing malfunctioning temperature control valves, repairing leaky steam traps or educating staff and patients about how their behaviors affect energy use, according to the article.