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Geisinger Health System, Danville, Penn.

CATEGORY: Sustainability


Geisinger Health System, Danville, Penn.



Generally, facilities departments are viewed as “overhead” in the corporate structure. We elected to change that paradigm, generating significant savings through energy reduction programs, to self fund an infrastructure renewal program. Additionally, as a healthcare provider, we leveraged triple bottom line principles to demonstrate how energy reduction not only achieves financial savings but pollution reduction and resultant health improvements in accordance with our mission as a healthcare provider.  These subsequent improvements are documented using the Energy Impact Calculator available on the Practice Greenhealth website.

All forms of energy conversion equipment have been updated or replaced to minimize energy consumption, from lighting to chillers and boilers to self-generation of power. While most hospitals spend $4 to $6 per square foot on utility costs, we have lowered our costs to $1.69 per square foot, providing almost $10 million annual savings, a reduction of CO2 generation of 62,000 tons, 5 tons reduced mercury emissions, 451 tons reduced SO2 emissions, and 95 tons reduced NOx emissions. The health impacts forecasted for our service territory of 2.6 million are 3.64 fewer premature deaths, nine less hospital visits, 74 fewer asthma attacks, and 656 less lost workdays. These positive health impacts are calculated to have a societal value of $27 million and reduced direct medical costs of $3.4 million.

The $10 million in monetary savings funds an ongoing infrastructure reneal program to grow more savings as well as normal capital replacement associated with the buildings throughout the system (a sustainable solution for funding infrastructure renewal).  Additionally, we have established a philanthropic “Green Fund,” that in its first year has been the beneficiary of over $250,000 in charitable donations.

From a technology perspective, the utility plant is state of the art.  A 5 MW Combined Heat and Power plant provides nearly half of the electrical load and 75% of the heating requirement.  A centralized chiller plant with 8000 ton hours of storage capacity allows off-peak cooling generation for improved efficiency and reduced cost.  A steam turbine chiller utilizes excess heat capacity from the CHP  to provide 1500 tons of cooling, essentially for free.

The final result of these efficiency improvements, aside from the financial, environmental and health benefits, is that the institution, Geisinger Medical Center, recived the EPA’s Energy Star Award in August of 2013, scoring a perfect 100.  While we are proud of that achievement, we know we can still improve for the betterment of all.


In-house Participants

Dennis Strouse
Doug Grubb
Bradd Mertz
Mike Gerrity
Bill Greenly
Rich Schetroma
Alan Wynn
Jim Reichard


Additional Information

» View Leading your Healthcare Organization Toward Energy Efficiency: A Call to Action (PDF)

» View Geisinger Health System Power Plant Saves $2.2 Million a Year (PDF)

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