Hospitals Making Strides in Energy Efficient Lighting
On average, lighting costs are 16% of hospitals total energy consumption; composing over 40% of a hospitals electricity usage. Two cost-saving techniques that hospital executives utilize are LED lights and harvesting natural light. In addition, linear fluorescent lighting, which optimizes wattage without sacrificing quality, is growing in demand in hospital energy improvement.
One such case study demonstrating the effectiveness of these lighting retrofits is Resurrection Health Care. After switching from high energy usage T12 lamps and ballasts, to the F28 T8 lamps and electronic ballasts, Resurrection is saving $900,000 annually; a reduction of 9 million kilowatt0hours in annual energy. Instead of the typical 15,000-hour life of the T12 lamps, the F28 T8 lamps are expected to last 30,000 hours.
This change did not come over night though. The installation process across Resurrection’s 6 acute care hospitals and several other types of medical and office buildings took 3 years. This enormous hospital retrofitting project could also not have been able without the assistance of the local electric utility which generously donated $540,000 in rebates for its “Business energy-efficiency rebate program,” vastly assisting in the $1.7 million in funds needed for the undertaking.
Lighting upgrades are among the most commonly noted energy improvement project by hospital executives. A lighting retrofit can be accomplished relatively quickly, compared with other department and facility developments, but more importantly a quick payback can be expected. Small, energy efficient improvements can go a long way such as advancing lighting fixtures so that less wattage achieves the same brightness. Considering the thousands of fixtures that a hospital consists of, little efforts such as these can carry forth immense cost-saving benefits.
As Resurrection Health Care and other hospitals that are implementing environmentally friendly changes continue to see financial gains in these types of endeavors, I expect larger scale energy-efficiency projects to be on the drawing board in the near future
Your Medical Real Estate Adviser,