Healthcare Energy Reduction Efficiency
The Premier healthcare alliance is committed to helping hospitals and their communities build and sustain a healthy environment and reduce their carbon footprint, including becoming energy efficient and increasing the use of renewable energy sources. GreenHealthy® includes Premier’s EPP (environmentally preferable purchasing) program, comprehensive and publicly accessible website with tools and resources on healthcare energy reduction.
The energy problem in healthcare
- Healthcare ranks as the country’s second most energy intensive industry, with hospitals spending more than $10 billion each year.
- Hospitals are the sector’s largest energy consumer and producer of greenhouse gases (GHG). The industry’s reliance on conventional, non-renewable energy sources (oil, coal) contributes disproportionately to the emission of GHG, driving climate change and impacting public health from air pollution.
- Energy costs are soaring exponentially (as much as 60 percent in some regions) and consuming up to 3 percent of a hospital’s total operating budget and up to at least 15 percent of their annual profits. Rising costs are squeezing operating margins and diverting money needed for critical healthcare quality and safety improvements.
- Only 7 percent of the entire U.S. energy consumption is from renewable energy sources, including biofuels such as ethanol, solar, hydroelectric and wind power.
- Billions of dollars are wasted annually because hospitals’ may not have energy-efficiency building systems.
- There is an urgent need to address the energy and climate crisis to save institutions money while decreasing healthcare’s carbon footprint through measurable reductions in the amount of GHGs directly released in the delivery of patient care.
As healthcare dollars continue to be squeezed, an often overlooked opportunity to reduce cost and increase net profits is efficient management of the cost of operation of the healthcare facility.
Instead of spending money to bring in more business, hospital leaders have increased their net profits from a base of 3 to 5 percent by reducing their operating costs. They have improved energy efficiency and focused their purchasing practices on reducing the total costs of ownership rather than reducing purchase price. The savings can then be invested in additional energy efficient solutions and renewable energy sources.
How to guide for energy efficiency
We have assembled a selection of tools, resources, case studies, samples of best practices, and evaluation tools to help healthcare facilities enhance their operations, maintenance and purchasing-related decisions by implementing total cost of ownership practices and decision making. Just a few of the benefits of implementing these recommended practices include:
- Utility and maintenance cost savings,
- Increased equipment reliability to reduce maintenance costs and minimize downtime,
- Improved redundancy for critical equipment and systems such as computer centers,
- Increased heating, ventilation and air conditioning capacity without adding new equipment or utility costs,
- Improve the environment of care through better lighting, temperature control and ventilation, and
- Reduce operating costs without giving up anything except obsolete practices.
Premier contracted suppliers can help reduce energy costs
Premier has many contracted suppliers to assist members with energy efficient products, equipment, services, and engineering/construction design offerings, as well as energy procurement and options for renewable energy and related products. These contracts are included in a summary list of selected environmentally preferable contracted suppliers and contracts that support a safe healthcare environment. Contract details are available in the Supply Chain Advisor catalog for members (Requires login).