37,300 Sq. Feet
Annual cash savings: $30,724.00
Annual kWh savings: 176,180
Payback period: 36 Months
In all energy upgrades, the goal is to improve the comfort level of your surroundings, which usually increases productivity, either enabling you to provide better service to your clients or provide a better environment for clients to purchase your products. But what if the product or service you provide is comfort?
Cottage Hospital’s lighting upgrade and other energy investments have dramatically improved comfort levels in the lighting, heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning of their healthcare facility. Investment dollars are being recouped at an internal rate of return of 80 percent, and the hospital is using 176,180 fewer kilowatthours of electricity per year.
After receiving information about ENERGY STAR® from the New Hampshire Hospital Association, staff at Cottage Hospital decided to join. They were planning some renovations anyway, so they figured this would be a good time to upgrade the energy equipment. At that same time, Johnson Controls, an ENERGY STAR® for small business service and product provider, located in Manchester, NH, introduced their energy management program to Cottage Hospital. After careful consideration, Cottage Hospital staff chose Johnson Controls for the job.
After performing a full-scale energy audit, Johnson Controls developed a performance contract with a guaranteed annual savings of $25,000. Eight months later, the upgrade was complete and, according to Facility Manager Paul Poliquin, brought them actual savings of $30,724.
The lighting portion of the upgrade consisted of the re-lamping and re-ballasting of nearly 500 fixtures from standard fluorescent 40-watt T-12s with magnetic ballasts to 32-watt T-8s with electronic ballasts. Johnson Controls also exchanged nearly 200 general service incandescents with compact fluorescents. The lighting retrofit improved light levels throughout the hospital. Furthermore, the higher color rendering index of the T-8s casts a warmer glow in rooms, which helps to lift patients’ spirits. Incandescent exit signs were also retrofitted with compact fluorescents, but when the hospital installs more exit signs with the addition of a new wing, these exit signs will be light-emitting diodes (LEDs).
In addition to lighting upgrades throughout the hospital, Johnson Controls installed an energy management system (EMS) that allows Poliquin the ability to control the temperature and humidity of the hospital through a computer. He sets the controls for optimum comfort based on the season and time of day. At night, he programs the EMS so that heating or air-conditioning (depending on the season) runs at 70 percent capacity. Johnson Controls also installed variable-speed drives on the motors and fans of the hospital’s air-handling system. Besides the obvious benefit of a better controlled comfort level in the hospital, Poliquin spends less time checking and rechecking controls and resetting them.
Poliquin says before this project, they had taken measures to secure Cottage Hospital’s building envelope. A few years back, Cottage Hospital installed efficient foam insulation with a stucco covering that keeps heat inside in the cold season and outside in the warmer months. Also at that time, they replaced all the windows with thermal-paned windows, which improved the efficiency of the heating system by reducing the exchange of heat through the glass. Up on the roof they went from a gravel top to insulated vinyl for a sturdier, more energy-efficient covering.