Rising energy costs are back. A survey of over 700 hospitals conducted by ASHE and Health Facilities Management Magazine in July reported that 90 percent of the respondents noted an increase in energy costs, while 15 percent saw prices climb more than 25 percent since last year. And hospitals aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch. Many utility companies were trying to meet power demand last summer when a heat wave swept though the country. The 13-state mid-Atlantic region shattered its one-day record high consuming 139,746 megawatts (MW) of electricity. California used 46,561 MW of power one day in July, breaking last year’s one-day record high of 45,431 MW.
Recommitting to energy efficiency in our healthcare facilities will lower costs and help reduce straining the capacity of our local electric grids. Many of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® healthcare partners have shown that gains in energy efficiency of 10 to 30 percent above present levels are feasible through operational best practices and the use of available technologies. For example, St. Francis Hospital in Marysville, MO and Shriners Hospital in Houston, TX show that large gains in efficiency can be made in as little as one year (see July/Aug 2006 edition of Inside ASHE).
That’s why ASHE President Bill Morgan announced a new initiative called Energy Efficiency Commitment (or E2C) at the Annual Conference in Boston last July. ASHE believes there are facility managers throughout the country who have the ability to tenaciously pursue energy waste and turn it into the gold of energy savings. ASHE created E2C to bring everyone together to share best practices, to learn from successes (and failures), and be recognized for the progress made in energy management. Many hospitals have already done the "big things" to increase energy performance. But as facility director Delbert Reed says, “Until you look, you’d be amazed at how many of the little things you walk by everyday” that add up to significant savings.
An energy educational program is being developed now and will be made available in 2007 at no charge to ASHE members. The resources that will be made available will include:
ASHE will promote E2C through the ASHE website, ASH*E*Flash, Inside ASHE, and at the ASHE PDC and Annual Conferences.
At various times during the year, ASHE will recognize members that achieve at least a 10% energy savings in their hospitals or medical office buildings by employing demand-side efficiency measures. Qualifying facilities may be eligible to earn the ENERGY STAR from the U.S. EPA.
To receive credit for past efficiency upgrades, hospitals can baseline back 5 years from when they begin to participate in E2C.
To join the E2C initiative, begin tracking your energy use by setting up an account within Portfolio Manager, a free internet-based tool used in the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program.
Go to www.energystar.gov/benchmark and login to Portfolio Manager. Click the "New User" link and create a password-protected account, if you do not already have one. Enter your building information and begin tracking energy performance (or update your account if you already have one). For more information on how to use Portfolio Manager, you may attend a free online training at energystar.webex.com or take the Portfolio Manager Tour once you’ve established your account in Portfolio Manager.
Sharing “read only” rights with ASHE is strictly confidential. Only ASHE staff supporting the program will be able to access your data.
From the “My Portfolio” page, choose “Share Facilities”.
Step 1. From the drop down menu labeled “Select a Master Account”, select “American Society for Healthcare Engineering ASHE_E2C”. Click CONTINUE.
Step 2. Select the appropriate access role, ability to set baseline, and any additional rights you want to grant the user. We recommend “Read Only” access.
Step 3. Choose the appropriate Facility Group within the ASHE account. Facility Groups include ASHE Chapters. Click Continue.
Note: To further ease sharing and tracking of facilities within Portfolio Manager, ASHE created chapter groups within the ASHE Account into which your facility can be shared directly.
Step 4. Select your facility to share with the ASHE Master Account. Click CONTINUE.
Step 5. Confirm that all access changes are correct. Review the list of facilities shared and access rights granted. If you need to make changes, you may return to the previous screen(s) by selecting CANCEL.
Once you have reviewed the changes, click SAVE.
On the Facility Summary page, next to Facility Performance, select Set Baseline Periods. Choose to set the energy baseline yourself or let Portfolio Manager automatically determine the energy baseline period. Portfolio Manager will automatically identify your earliest eligible 12-month period and set it for you. Click SAVE.
By going through this process, you will be able to compare the baseline rating of your facility against your current rating.
On the Facility Summary page, next to Facility Performance, select Set Energy Performance Target. Set your target based on a rating goal (on the left side of the table) or by a percent reduction goal (on the right side of the table).
ASHE E2C recognizes hospitals and medical office buildings with 10% or more improvement over the past five years. This means you can input historical data and set your energy baseline period as far back as 2002.
Click RECALCULATE. When you are done with setting your target, Click SAVE.
Receiving your performance rating is just the first step. It will tell you how your facility compares to its peers nationwide on a scale from 1 to 100. The industry average is 50. Your Portfolio Manager account will also tell you how much energy has been saved since 2002, or whatever year you use as a baseline.
Participating in E2C means joining your peers in your commitment to save energy, reduce costs, and protect the environment. You will be notified of training seminars and peer-to-peer exchanges in the coming months. For more info on E2C, including case studies of energy savings by these and other health care facilities, visit www.ashe.org/ashe/facilities/e2c or contact Tim Adams, ASHE Director Engineering and Compliance, by email at email@example.com or by phone at 312.422.3804.
Clark Reed is the National Healthcare Manager for ENERGY STAR at the U.S. EPA. Last year, ENERGY STAR helped Americans save enough energy to power 26 million homes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that of 25 million cars — all while saving consumers $14 billion. To join, visit ENERGY STAR’s website or contact the author at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — MC 6202J, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, D.C. 20460. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 202-343-9146.