Thousands of hospitals rely on EPA's Portfolio Manager to track energy consumption, receive monthly ENERGY STAR scores, and prioritize facilities for energy upgrades — making it the most widely used benchmarking tool of its kind in the industry.
In 2010, EPA partnered with the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) to collect data to update the current energy performance scale for hospitals to reflect changes in hospital energy use in the last decade. After analyzing the data and consulting with industry stakeholders, EPA developed an updated 1-to-100 energy performance scale for hospitals.
The updated hospital model — scheduled to be released in Portfolio Manager on November 7, 2011 — will replace the current one in use and apply to general medical and surgical hospitals, critical access hospitals, and children's hospitals.
The data inputs to benchmark include:
- Gross square footage;
- Full-time equivalent (FTE) workers*;
- Number of beds set up and staffed for use*;
- Number of MRI machines*;
- Zip code (i.e., to access cooling degree day data); and
- At least 12 consecutive months of energy data for all fuel types.
*These space attributes are new and are not collected in the current model.
Hospitals will receive a provisional ENERGY STAR score based on default values produced by Portfolio Manager for the new data inputs. Users must internally verify or change these default values to receive a valid and accurate score. We recommend that you begin collecting the new model data now so that valid inputs can be entered in November. For hospitals currently eligible for ENERGY STAR certification, we encourage you to generate a Statement of Energy Performance (SEP) before the new model update and submit it within 120 days, or risk losing eligibility once the new rating is in place.
For more information, review a white paper and presentation recently delivered at the ASHE Annual Conference.
Senior care communities — including skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and certain types of continuing care retirement communities — are now eligible to earn EPA's ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance.
Among the first to earn the ENERGY STAR certification are 30 Sunrise Senior Living and nine Horizon Bay Retirement Living communities. These communities are performing in the top 25 percent for energy efficiency when compared to similar buildings nationwide. Certified buildings typically use 35 percent less energy and produce 35 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
How did they do it?
The certified Sunrise Senior Living communities, located in eight states across the country, upgraded to more efficient lighting and improved operations of heating and hot water systems to improve their energy efficiency and save money while contributing to cleaner air and protecting people's health. Sunrise Senior Living owns 277 senior care communities in the United States.
Horizon Bay took a comprehensive approach to implementing energy-saving practices in existing buildings. The company actively engaged various stakeholders, including staff and residents, to foster a culture of ownership and personal responsibility through consistent communication and education on energy and environmental issues.
There are more than 38,000 senior care communities in the United States, spending more than $1.5 billion annually on energy use. If each community reduced its energy use by 10 percent, they could collectively save more than $150 million per year. Learn more about energy management in senior care communities to begin benchmarking, improving, and earning recognition for your successes.
Muskogee Community Hospital is the first hospital to receive both design recognition from ENERGY STAR and be ENERGY STAR certified.
In 2009, Muskogee Community Hospital (MCH) in Muskogee, Oklahoma, became the first hospital in the nation qualified as Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR . Recently, MCH earned another first by being the first hospital to receive both recognition for the design intent as well as ENERGY STAR certification for the building once in operation, proving that the hospital design met expectations.
To achieve the ENERGY STAR , MCH tapped into geothermal energy to heat and cool the hospital and integrated state-of-the-art energy efficient building systems and equipment. Learning how to operate the geothermal system to maximize savings took some time and patience. Mark Roberts, President of MCH, said, "We have multiple days in the summer when temperatures rise above 100 degrees. Our doctors like the temperature between 62 and 68 degrees in the operating rooms. Achieving the right balance with huge temperature swings working against us was incredibly challenging. It took several months to dial in on the settings to get the temperature in the operating rooms perfected." Roberts also added: "We are proud that MCH exceeds the energy efficiencies required by the government for 2030. Having a building that is two decades ahead of what will be expected makes us proud to know we are doing our part to use less energy and have been able to use the savings for better patient care."
MCH is a great example of how the design alone will not result in an energy efficient facility. Operations and maintenance are critical to ensuring that, once built, the building's actual energy use meets or exceeds estimated savings. MCH closely monitored their energy consumption from day one to determine if the hospital was operating as expected. By closely monitoring consumption against projections, MCH staff was able to identify areas for improvement and fine-tune their operations. MCH learned that training is also a key component of success as it takes staff some time to learn how to operate new building systems. Patience and persistence of MCH staff was rewarded with the EPA ENERGY STAR certification. "Being the first hospital in the country to use 100% closed loop Geothermal heating and cooling gave us a great opportunity to become energy efficient, coupling it with energy saving lighting, reflective roofing and ENERGY STAR equipment where available, made the energy savings achievable and the award reachable."
The 2011 National Building Competition: Battle of the Buildings has progressed steadily as 245 buildings across the country industriously work to curb their energy use. In July, EPA announced the top category contenders as of the midpoint. In early November, you'll see which buildings came out on top overall, as well as the cumulative impact of all competitors. In case you missed it, below is a list of the top category contenders as of the midpoint:
Bank: USE Credit Union: San Diego, Calif. 20%
Courthouse: Hammond U.S. Courthouse: Hammond, Ind. 14%
Dormitory: Kenan Residence Hall at UNC: Chapel Hill, N.C. 3%
Hospital: St Mark's Medical Center: La Grange, Texas 10%
Hotel: The Colonnade Hotel: Boston, Mass. 2%
House of Worship: First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis: Minneapolis, Minn. 14%
Office: Scientific Instruments: West Palm Beach, Fla. 30%
K-12 School: Jackson Creek Middle School: Bloomington, Ind. 26%
Medical Office: North Suburban Medical Office Building: Thornton, Colo. 18%
Retail: Office Depot: Plano, Texas 17%
Warehouse: Norandex: Rochester, N.Y. 8%
Other: University of Central Florida's Garage C: Orlando, Fla. 31%
In the first six months of the competition alone, teams representing 245 buildings around the country have saved more than $3.7 million on utility bills and reduced greenhouse gas emissions equal to the electricity used by 2,300 homes annually. Competitors measure and track their building's monthly energy consumption using EPA's ENERGY STAR online energy tracking tool, Portfolio Manager. The building with the largest percentage reduction in energy use, adjusted for weather and the size of the building, will be recognized as the winner in November.
Visit www.energystar.gov/BattleoftheBuildings to learn more about the competitors, get real-time updates via a live Twitter feed, and join in on a Facebook forum to exchange ideas and strategies.
EPA is adopting a policy that will change the year associated with your ENERGY STAR certification. Currently, the certification year is based on the 12-month period ending date listed on your Statement of Energy Performance (SEP). However, for all label applications approved on or after January 1, 2012, the year of your certification will reflect the year during which your application for ENERGY STAR certification is approved, regardless of the SEP period ending date. The purpose of this change is to align the year of your certification with the calendar year in which it was approved. This change will make it easier for you and EPA to communicate and celebrate your award with the public.
Important Information for Those Who Have Not Yet Applied for 2011 Certification
If you received a 2010 certification with an SEP dated in the last four months of 2010, please take note: In order for you to earn a 2011 award, your application must be approved by December 31, 2011. EPA will guarantee 2011 approval for all applications that are postmarked by November 15, 2011 or earlier and which require no additional questions or follow-up by EPA. Since, typically, your building might not have been eligible to apply by this deadline, EPA has manually reset your building's account to be eligible as of August 31, 2011.
Important Information for Everyone Eligible for ENERGY STAR Certification
In future years, to ensure that your building earns certification for the current year, you must postmark your application by November 15. As long as your application does not trigger any follow-up or additional questions, EPA will guarantee current-year approval, which means that your building will receive current-year certification.
Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit healthcare system with a portfolio of community hospitals and family health centers in Ohio, Florida, and Nevada. Since 2008, Cleveland Clinic has worked with ENERGY STAR to implement a comprehensive strategy to save energy. In April 2011, the system received the program's highest honor, the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award.
Using the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management as a framework, Cleveland Clinic appointed an Energy Director and formed an Energy Committee comprised of leaders from across the organization — from hospital vice presidents to facilities and finance personnel. The committee has an annual budget dedicated to improving energy performance and incentivizing personal action. With full support from the "C Suite", Cleveland Clinic established energy baselines, implemented real-time energy monitoring, and upgraded lighting fixtures portfolio-wide.
To engage employees and patients, Cleveland Clinic distributed "Power It Down!" Post-It reminders to staff and held a children's energy awareness poster contest. Cleveland Clinic's Solon Family Health Center participated in EPA's first ever National Building Competition to be the "biggest energy loser". The Solon Family Health Center reduced their energy use by 14 percent in a short period of time through improved maintenance procedures and funding employees' energy-saving project ideas. Employees also adopted healthier practices, using stairs rather than elevators to trim pounds and BTUs.
In 12 months, Cleveland Clinic reduced electricity and natural gas consumption by 5 and 8 percent respectively, saving over $4.15 million — the equivalent of hiring 64 new nurses and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to keeping 5,280 passenger cars off the road for one year, adding to public health benefits.
Cleveland Clinic's platform that energy management is culturally integrated into the patient care mission has allowed it to not only achieve successes, but also to instill drive for continued improvements.
The new "Entering Parking Area" mini-training (Duration: 2.5 minutes) explains how to properly benchmark parking lots and garages in Portfolio Manager.