Safety

Tip of the week: Cut energy costs

Hospital Safety Insider, July 14, 2011

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In 2004, facility managers at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) decided they needed to make energy reduction and savings a priority.

That was no easy task given that the national nonprofit health organization, headquartered in Denver, operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals as well as other healthcare facilities.

Seven years later, however, the health system is on track to save more than $1 million annually in energy costs.

“There’s been a good return on the time and effort we’ve invested,” says Dennis E. Smith, MS, CHFM, CCM, CEM, assistant director of facility management at CHI.

Smith says to lower costs, get a handle on your energy data. “One of the things I discovered over the past six or seven years of working on the energy side of things is that you really have to know where you are before you decide where you want to go,” Smith says.

As such, energy data are a necessity. At CHI, a utility bill-pay service gathers the data on all of the gas, water, and electrical usage at the system’s hospitals each month and automatically interfaces with the Energy Star Portfolio Manager. The Portfolio Manager provides the ability to gauge which buildings use energy efficiently and which are less than efficient. 

For more tips, read this article in Briefings on Hospital Safety. Log-in required.



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