Dr.Vijay Agarwal President of Delhi Chapter – Advisor Quality and Business Excellence, Max Healthcare.
Energy Efficiency in Hospital
Hospitals are among the nation's most complex, diverse, and energy-intensive facilities and today find themselves at the nexus of two critical pressure points: health care and energy.
Unlike most other commercial buildings, hospitals must be fully operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are required to maintain services during power outages, natural disasters, and emergencies that force other facilities to close. Some of the life saving equipment must continue functioning uninterrupted.
Within the healthcare industry, the constraints of rising costs, lower reimbursements, an aging population, and outdated facilities are intersecting with burgeoning energy pressures such as growing demand, rising costs, and increasing concerns about carbon emissions and energy reliability.
AHPI is committed to raise the level of awareness on energy efficiency among the hospital administrators and energy managers to inspire them to initiate and implement energy conservation program in their facilities. Energy conservation is important for improving hospital economics as well as environment. Energy expenses contribute to 10-20% of the operating and maintenance cost.
It is important for all of us working in hospitals to remember that even the smallest step – like switching off lights, ACs, and computers when we are not at our workstation can contribute in saving at least 20% of the cost mentioned above. CAHO has been in regular dialogue with Prof Satish Kumar (Chairman Alliance for Energy Efficient Economy) who gave the following suggestions:
- For hospitals that are starting out on the energy efficiency journey: The first thing that many of the hospitals can do is to check where they stand on the energy efficiency curve by putting some basic information about their hospital on the hospital energy benchmarking site that has been supported by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency at http://ecobench.eetools.in/. There is also a Best Practices Guide developed by the Bureau of Energy Efficiency that can be downloaded for free at http://www.beeindia.in/schemes/documents/ecbc/eco3/ecbc/Energy%20Efficiency%20in%20Hospitals-%20Best%20Practice%20Guide.pdf. It is also recommended that the facilities team keep the electricity and diesel consumption data carefully for at least one year, the longer, the better.
- For hospitals that have already taken some steps towards energy efficiency operations: These hospitals should look at collecting and energy data and applying for BEE Star Labeling scheme. It will be a good way to get serious about energy efficiency and even get some recognition from the government. They need to look at monitoring and tracking the energy consumption at the system level: This can be done by installing sub-metering to track critical and high energy consuming load enters (air-conditioning, lighting, lifts, operation-theatres, medical equipment). Having an ability to see how energy is being consumed and at what time is the start of developing a good energy management plan. Once a good sub-metering infrastructure has been put in place, it will be a good idea to engage a a good energy auditing firm with experience in hospital audits. There are many India-specific and international best practices on how to get a good energy audit done so that the exercise leads to concrete actions and does not end with just an audit report. Energy Efficiency Services Limited has the ability to implement projects based on energy audits where energy efficiency projects or technology can be implemented at the hospitals and payment is made through the energy savings that is accomplished after implementation of the projects.
- For hospitals that are serious about energy efficiency and may have some resources to invest to upgrade the facilities: This category of hospitals can start to look at ISO 50001 or LEED/GRIHA/IGBC Building Rating by institutionalizing energy efficiency at the management level. These organizations can also start giving system level or building level energy performance targets to the facilities team based on benchmarked data available from government or non-profit organizations. This way, any investment that is made by the hospital administration needs to account for the superior energy performance and savings that must positively impact the bottom line of hospitals.
Please join the energy conservation movement ; Save your hospital and Save environment!