Your HVAC Could Save You Millions

Karen Minich-Pourshadi, for HealthLeaders Media , February 1, 2010

Multiply those percentages with the scores of square footage Legacy Health owns and that translates into an estimated $1.4 million to $2 million in savings annually. The project has proven so successful that Lydon has now moved on to the next phase of the project which is tracking energy used in a variety of other areas to determine where the hospital should go to find more energy savings. This work includes:

  • Creating an energy use index for each building (energy consumed per square foot)
  • Determining energy cost per square foot
  • Calculating the energy cost as a percent of total expense
  • Factoring in the energy expense per adjusted patient day

Where Energy Is Lost
Stout says a lot of low cost and no cost opportunities exist for hospitals to start with if they are looking to make cost cutting progress and save energy.

"One of the big areas is understanding when systems are needed and when they are not needed in the facility, and then making sure that your HVAC systems are scheduled according to when there is demand," she says. This work extends to lighting and other hospital equipment. Moreover it includes knowing when to purchase new equipment versus when it's worth your money to tune up or retrofit your existing equipment.

"With energy savings CFOs need to recognize that this is money that comes off the top and it all goes to the bottom line. It's savings that just occur by these low-cost and no-cost efforts," notes Stout. "This is one of the few controllable costs a hospital has."

Being more resource savvy is the natural progression of any cost-cutting efforts your facility is undertaking. These days in particular, hospitals need to become more energy efficient not only because it's the correct thing to do for the environment, but because it's a stellar way to save potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

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Karen Minich-Pourshadi is a Senior Editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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