Did you know? Hospitals are currently the second-most energy-intensive building type in the U.S., with heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) comprising 52% of their energy use. So, it’s no surprise that hospitals are under mounting pressure to do more with less, while also complying with strict regulations, ever-changing technology, and countless health and safety measures.
In order to improve operational costs and reduce their environmental impact, many hospitals are turning toward sustainability initiatives and utilizing advanced technologies to help aid in the global energy transition.
Here are three of the ways in which hospitals are improving energy efficiency and sustainability:
1. Upgrading Energy Efficient Systems
As previously mentioned, hospitals often find that their existing systems, spanning from their HVAC units, boilers, air handlers, and more, consume a majority of their energy use. The good news, though, is that hospitals can save energy by replacing their outdated equipment with modern, energy-efficient systems. For example, many hospitals have implemented programs around optimizing their HVAC systems for maximum performance with minimal cost. This includes looking at ways to improve air quality, such as installing high-efficiency filters or installing more efficient chillers, boilers, and exhaust fans. Installing sensors can also help monitor temperature, humidity, and airflow levels for a more comfortable environment.
Hospitals can also save on their energy consumption by installing LED lights. The majority of hospital facilities depend on artificial lighting for optimal performance and patient comfort, resulting in high energy usage. However, with LED lighting, hospitals can achieve maximum illumination while using up to 75% less energy than traditional lighting systems. This helps them save money on energy bills and reduce the burden placed on our power grids.
2. Installing Renewable Energy Sources
Investing in renewable energy is another great way for hospitals to save on their operational costs and reduce their environmental impact. Hospitals can switch to solar, wind, hydropower, biomass, or geothermal systems as a more sustainable source of energy. While the upfront cost may be considerable, the long-term savings in terms of operational costs are undeniable.
By transitioning to renewable energy sources, hospitals can not only lower their electricity costs, but also reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources like coal and natural gas. Some hospitals have even begun exploring ways of using waste materials from their operations as a source of energy.
3. Implementing an Electronic Health Records System
As the world continues its shift to digital-first, it will come as no surprise that electronic health records (EHRs) have become increasingly popular in hospitals. Not only do EHRs help improve patient care by giving doctors easy access to up-to-date information, but they also reduce the amount of paper used. This leads to a reduction in energy consumption as well as costs associated with printing, filing, and storage.
Keeping a pulse on green practices
It’s clear that a growing number of hospitals are taking strides to become more sustainable and energy efficient in order to preserve our resources for future generations. By investing in energy efficient systems, renewable energy sources, and electronic health records software, hospitals can lead the way towards a healthier planet while improving patient care. Not only will this help cut down on operational costs, it will also provide a more healthy atmosphere for their patients, visitors, and staff alike.
It’s important for all health care professionals and administrators to consider how they can implement green practices into their daily operations. See how Dalrada Energy Services can help by clicking here.