Healthcare Bill PASSES – But does it save energy

Yes I know I am a google whore. It’s been said before. Here is the deal however. If the Healthcare Industry…and that is what it is, an Industry, cut their energy cost tomorrow, they could pass that savings on to you and “bend the healthcare curve down”.


How do they use energy and how much does it cost?

Total Energy Use by Fuel Type

Reference 1:  What is a Btu?

Health care buildings account for 11 percent of all commercial energy consumption, using a total of 561 trillion Btu of combined site electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and district steam or hot water.  They are the fourth highest consumer of total energy of all the building types (see total energy figure on home page).

Natural gas and electricity are the predominant fuels used in health care buildings, with natural gas used a bit more than electricity.  Health care buildings are more likely to use district heat than most building types.

Site electricity is the amount of electricity consumed within the building; electricity use can also be expressed as primary electricity, which includes the energy consumed in generating and transmitting electricity.  Health care buildings used 637 trillion Btu of primary electricity, which brings the total energy consumption for health care buildings up to 987 trillion Btu, or 9 percent of total primary consumption for all commercial buildings.


Some estimates put it as low as 9%, but that would be real savings.

Employees and executives are being called upon to assist as organizations implement “green” systems within healthcare facilities. The term “green building” or “sustainability” can mean a variety of things. Commonly, however, “green” design and construction includes:

  • promoting a healthier, more productive build environment;
  • increasing energy efficiency;
  • increasing efficiency in the use of water and other scarce resources;
  • reducing the project’s impact on the surrounding environment; and
  • decreasing liquid and solid wastes, building emissions, and other adverse impacts of the building’s operation on the broader environment.

Sustainability has particular resonance for healthcare facilities because improved indoor environmental quality demonstrably improves the health of patients, professionals, staff and visitors. Further, healthcare facilities are major generators of waste and are substantial consumers of increasingly energy and water.

Healthcare facilities generate more than 2 million tons of solid waste annually, which accounts for the majority of hospital waste disposal cost. Given a likely increase in waste disposal costs, designing or renovating a facility to more efficiently handle waste is an economic necessity.

Additionally, equipment-intensive facilities use several times more energy than office buildings, while hospitals typically use 90 to150 gallons of water per bed per day. In fact, healthcare facilities account for 9% of all commercial energy consumption in America, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.


Physician heal thyself


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