Keeping hospitals healthy

Healthcare buildings use 4 percent of all energy consumed in the United States, requiring a cross-functional approach to achieve energy savings. NEEA engages major hospitals and healthcare systems in rural and urban areas in the region to adopt strategic energy management (SEM) as a means to organize their approach and commitment to energy performance outcomes.

With SEM, energy management is more than a project, it’s a way of doing business that affects not just the energy performance of an existing healthcare facility, but also the energy goals and expectations they have for the design, construction, and post-occupancy results of their new buildings. As a result of NEEA’s work, over 40 percent of the region’s beds currently have service contracts with energy efficiency provisions related to their facility’s SEM plan.

NEEA collaborated with local utilities and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) on a campaign to engage hospital and healthcare facilities to actively benchmark and implement low- or no-cost improvements to their facilities. The campaign successfully engaged 30 percent of hospital beds and 20 percent of hospitals in the region. Participating facilities worked towards a 10 percent reduction in energy use in 2011. 

  • Northwest Food Processors Association Energy Savings Model Review
    In 2013, Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) stopped active support of Strategic Energy Management (SEM) programs in Northwest food processor facilities. After exiting, NEEA began monitoring activities associated with diffusion of the program outside of these facilities. To support this monitoring activity, the Northwest Food Processors Association (NWFPA) agreed to share annual data from its members. This report validates the savings from the initial subset of NWFPA members. It relies on the NWFPA’s confidentially collected and reported production and energy use data to identify SEM savings. In this round of reporting, eligible savings were very small (near zero). The researchers anticipate that NEEA will report positive savings in future rounds.
    PDF, 1.60 MB
  • Hospitals and Healthcare Initiative: Market Progress Evaluation Report #7
    Updated 06/15/15: The Hospital & Healthcare Initiative began in 2002, and targeted hospitals and hospital systems that have their headquarters in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington). Historically, the primary goal of the initiative was to have these organizations adopt Strategic Energy Management Plans (SEMPs), which can guide long-term changes in business practices and lead to reduced energy consumption. Replicating a market survey conducted in 2010, this market progress evaluation report finds that adoption of energy efficiency practices increased among non-participating hospitals from 20 percent in 2010 to 41 percent in 2014, suggesting diffusion of the initiative’s efforts to the wider market. SEMPs are in place at half the hospitals in the total market. Eighty-seven percent of hospitals have seen an improvement in the energy performance of their buildings in the last three years. Hospitals are changing their delivery approaches to provide a more efficient, higher quality, integrated clinical care at lower overall cost. Continuing barriers to strategic energy management include: decreasing hospital revenue streams and limited capital availability; lack of executive level commitment at some hospitals; high levels of risk aversion; and perceived high opportunity costs. As of 06/15/15, the savings validation for 2014 provided in a memo has been appended to this report.
    PDF, 8.86 MB
  • NEEA Hospitals and Healthcare Initiative- Market Progress Evaluation Report 6
    Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance’s (NEEA) Hospital and Healthcare (H&H) initiative works with market and technical specialists to support a select number of hospital in the region to develop, adopt, and implement strategic plans for improved energy management. On behalf of NEEA, Evergreen Economics and SBW Consulting conducted evaluation activities to assess how best to complete a handoff of initiative strategies, knowledge and materials to the participating hospitals and their supporting utilities as NEEA transitions out of the hospitals and healthcare market. Key recommendations from the evaluators are for NEEA to: 1) deliver periodic presentations to groups of regional hospital executives to describe and promote Strategic Energy Management (SEM); 2) conduct advocacy training with hospitals’ SEM staff and utility account managers before exiting the market; and 3) work with Bonneville Power Administration to expand or replicate its Track and Tune program to serve the hospitals segment.
    PDF, 1.77 MB

Resource Spotlight

NEEA Hospitals Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Initiative: Market Transformation and Lasting Impact

This paper reviews a decade of market transformation efforts that enabled industry adoption of energy efficiency practices among Northwest healthcare facilities.

Read the case study

NEEA Team Lead

Kim Hughes

Sr. Program Manager