Department of Energy Focuses on Improving Energy Efficiency of Health Care Buildings
April 2009 - Energy Efficiency
Promoting the integration of advanced energy efficiency and renewable technologies in hospital design, construction, retrofit, operations, and maintenance, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has launched the Hospital Energy Alliance (HEA), an industry-led partnership between the DOE and national healthcare sector leaders.
Hospitals use 836 trillion BTUs of energy annually and have more than 2.5 times the energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions of commercial office buildings, producing more than 30 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per square foot. Reducing the energy intensity of this sector will decrease its carbon footprint and also alleviate stress on the nation's electric power infrastructure.
Additionally, new energy efficiency strategies hold the promise of reduced costs for the sector, as U.S. hospitals spend over $5 billion annually on energy, often equaling 1 to 3 percent of a typical hospital’s operating budget or an estimated 15 percent of profits, says DOE.
HEA is the third energy alliance launched by DOE as part of its Net-Zero Commercial Building Initiative (CBI). CBI aims to achieve market-ready, zero-energy commercial buildings by 2025 and was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007).