5 Energy-Efficiency Tips for Healthcare Facilities

Health care facilities get huge amounts of power from the electrical grid every day. Energy efficiency encompasses many different factors, especially in a hospital setting. Switching to a more energy-efficient design can not only save the hospital tons of money on electric bills, but it can also lower carbon emissions by a considerable amount.

To achieve energy-efficiency, healthcare facilities should consider the following:

1. Switch to LED lights

LED headlights for medical facilities may not seem like a big money-saver, but with the collective decrease in power consumption, LED lighting is an investment that hospitals should look into. More importantly, LED lights can last longer than regular lighting options, which means that replacements wouldn’t have to be done as frequently.

2. Update medical equipment

Outdated equipment often requires more energy to operate. If hospital equipment has surpassed its optimal lifespan, it is the best time to replace them with newer, more sustainable selections. Manufacturers of today focus on designing medical equipment that uses up to 50% less energy than outdated models. These newer models also minimize radiation output so that less shielding can be used for the patient.

In terms of speed, newer models are created to cut down on processing time. A faster machine translates to staff efficiency and much lower energy use per patient.

3. Reevaluate your laundry methods

A hospital washes tons of laundry every year, which translates to hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy expenses. For hospitals to cut down on this substantial cost, they should opt to replace regular washing machines with machines that have an ENERGY STAR label on them. When a machine has this label, it means that less power (up to 63% less) is consumed compared to regular washers and dryers.

Aside from switching to more energy-efficient machines, healthcare facilities should train their staff to wash laundry in cold water when appropriate. If hot water is used for every cycle, it can increase the power consumption even more.

4. Consider sustainable sources of energy

Solar heater for green energy

Hospitals that strive for more energy-efficiency are choosing to invest in renewable sources, such as solar power and biogas. Understandably, these changes are quite expensive at first and would require careful planning. However, having renewable sources of energy in the hospital premises can save more money in the long run while cutting down carbon emissions significantly.

Other examples of sustainable energy sources include geothermal heat pumps, solar-powered boiler, and hydropower, among many others.

5. Unplug minor equipment

Minor equipment such as computers, printers, monitors, TVs, and water coolers cost healthcare facilities an unnecessary amount of money if they are left plugged in when not in use. Facilities that only have a fixed operating schedule should unplug equipment after each working day. ENERGY STAR-labeled equipment should also be considered as they can reduce consumption by up to 75%.

A typical 50-bed hospital in the U.S. racks up $680,000 in electricity bills each year. But by switching to more energy-efficient equipment and modes of operation, a hospital can save thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of money each year while reducing their carbon footprint as well.

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