With all of the media attention paid of late to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), it’d be easy to miss a related, if seemingly mundane, development: the recent release of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Energy Retrofit Guide for Healthcare Facilities. Of all the challenges facing the nation’s healthcare system, one of the most pervasive—yet solvable—is its incredible energy consumption. U.S. healthcare facilities spend $8.8 billion per year on energy.
Connecticut’s Greenwich Hospital was one facility contributing to that colossal number. On the U.S. government’s 1–100 rating scale for ENERGY STAR (a score of 75 or higher is required for ENERGY STAR designation), Greenwich Hospital scored a disappointing 47, indicating plenty of room for improvement. The hospital implemented a deep energy retrofit and the results speak for themselves: Greenwich saved more than 1.7 million kWh and $303,000 of electricity per year, nearly doubled its ENERGY STAR rating to 88, and reduced its overall energy consumption by 35 percent with a less-than-six-month payback on the effort.