Massachusetts Hospital Saves $70,000 per Year on Natural Gas with Reusable Insulation

February 20, 2019

Sturdy Memorial Hospital is a full-service, independent not-for-profit acute care community hospital located in Attleboro, Mass., that completed a capital project to save energy through a partnership with Shannon Enterprises of W.N.Y., Inc., a designer and maker of reusable thermal and acoustic insulation, and Thomaston, Conn., Shannon Energy Resources. With help from Shannon Energy, the hospital facilities staff installed reusable, custom-engineered thermal insulation throughout the hospital’s mechanical rooms and steam distribution system. Since completing the project in December 2017, the hospital’s campus has reduced natural gas use by approximately 8,000 therms per month. The hospital has also seen temperatures in the hospital’s mechanical rooms reduced by approximately 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to the hospital’s facilities operations department, after running a month-to-month heating-degree-day, gas-use comparison for the last two years the facility appears to be saving approximately $70,000 per year on natural gas with the reusable blankets. The payback is on track to happen in about 13 months. In July 2017, before the hospital installed the reusable insulation, it used about 48,000 therms; last July the facility used only 40,000 therms. This is savings off the base load of the facility, and, therefore, occurring every month.

Facilities personnel at the hospital say to maintain and operate the hospital’s steam system, workers often removed insulation from system components but had no easy way to re-insulate the components because the material was not reusable. The hospital sought insulation that its facilities team could remove and reinstall to allow for maintenance and thermal integrity. A key to approving the project was obtaining a rebate from Columbia Gas, the natural gas provider for Sturdy Memorial.

Bob Mulvey, director of sales at Shannon Energy Resources, worked with Sturdy Memorial to present Columbia Gas engineers with energy surveys and savings calculations for 244 components across the campus. After reviewing the project, Columbia Gas provided a 50 percent incentive to Sturdy Memorial Hospital toward the cost of the insulation project.  According to the hospital’s facilities staff, with the reusable blanket insulation in place, the energy savings that the hospital is recouping means it will essentially operate its boilers during the month of December for free, every year.

“Healthcare systems have by now improved things like lighting,” says Frank Kovacs, president of Shannon Enterprises, “but reusable insulation engineered and installed correctly is the next, big area of energy savings for healthcare facilities.”

Shannon engineers and manufactures insulation products such as blanket insulation, insulation jackets and insulation covers. Shannon has developed insulation solutions for hospitals for energy conservation, thermal efficiency, noise reduction and safety.

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