Hospital Uses Utility Assessment To Begin Energy Efficiency Upgrades

  July 30, 2015

FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, Ill., had its beginnings in 1902 as a small 40-bed hospital. Since then, the original wooden building has been replaced, and four wings have been added, the first in 1926 and the latest in 1975. When it came time to do an energy assessment, the hospital — which is part of FHN, formerly known as Freeport Health Network — contacted the Smart Ideas energy efficiency program from Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd). The program provides free, high-level assessments to identify energy efficiency opportunities eligible for Smart Ideas incentives. Smart Ideas is one of the largest energy efficiency programs in the nation, according to ComEd. Since 2008, the program has helped residential, commercial and industrial customers reduce their energy usage by more than 9.2 million megawatt-hours and saved $950 million on electric bills.

That initial assessment identified indoor and outdoor lighting retrofits, kitchen demand control ventilation retrofit, and building automation system opportunities. As a result of the assessment, FHN Memorial Hospital retrofitted some of their lighting with Smart Ideas financial incentives. A ComEd Smart Ideas representative then spoke with Rick Long, director of facility services for FHN Memorial Hospital, about performing a deeper energy assessment of the facility and helped him connect with Grumman/Butkus Associates, a ComEd technical service provider, to conduct it.

Smart Ideas energy efficiency assessments are provided at low or no cost to ComEd business customers to help them identify and quantify energy-saving opportunities in their facilities. Each assessment includes the estimated project cost, energy cost savings, incentive and simple payback for opportunities identified. Deep energy assessments, such as the one FHN Memorial Hospital did, can help facility managers prioritize short- and long-term capital improvements.

FHN Memorial Hospital's facility assessment identified 15 energy conservation measures. The hospital’s administration and facility management team worked with ComEd and Grumman/Butkus to review and prioritize the energy conservation measures. “ComEd’s facility assessment provided us with a comprehensive picture of our opportunities and the detailed analysis to act," says Long. The first project selected was to retro-commission the facility. "In addition to implementing retro-commissioning, we are now in the planning stages to convert our kitchen exhaust from constant volume to variable volume," Long says.

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