A Prescription for Energy Efficiency
In order to maintain competitiveness and profitability, healthcare systems must balance rising energy costs with increased needs for advanced technology. But is it possible for hospitals to increase their use of energy-intensive medical equipment while also reducing energy consumption?
Each year healthcare systems spend more than $8 billion on energy, making them one of the largest consumers of energy among U.S. Institutions. The
most recent data available from the Healthier Hospitals Initiative reports that hospitals' energy costs rose 56 percent between 2003 and 2008.
While the Environmental Protection Agency reports that every dollar saved on energy is equivalent to a $20 increase in revenue for a hospital - or a $10 increase for a medical office building - most healthcare systems have been slow to reduce energy related to their equipment needs. From CT scanners
to heart monitors, medical machines account for 18 percent of hospitals' total energy use. The more doctors rely on sophisticated equipment to help
patients, the more a hospital's energy use goes up.
Because of this, architects and healthcare administrators need to make sustainable equipment a priority from the start of any project. Medical equipment makes up to to 40 percent of a total project budget, so prudent spending decisions on these items will support budget compliance from conceptual stages through commissioning, while supporting sustainability and energy-saving efforts.
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