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Despite residing in the top 15 percent of energy-efficient hospitals nationwide, Highland Hospital is not content.
The Rochester, N.Y., facility is planning projects designed to improve energy performance and overall operations, including renovating operating rooms, specifying oxygen-trim systems for boilers, and recommissioning building systems and components.
Obtaining funds for these initiatives during tough economic times has been a challenge, but maintenance and engineering managers have formed a strong relationship with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to help build support for capital projects.
“(Working with NYSERDA) takes something that would save us money and has a defined payback and improves that payback,” says Michael Zanghi, Highland’s director of facilities.
NYSERDA is a public benefit corporation that promotes the development and use of technologies to improve New York State’s energy, economic, and environmental well-being. Its support comes in different forms for commercial and institutional facilities.
“They do technical studies, where you have to hire an engineer,” Zanghi says. “You specify what you think you’re going to accomplish. You have to go through the project, and they’ll reimburse you after the project’s complete, with some ongoing monitoring. They also have loan programs where they’ll buy down the percentage on your loan. That helps the cash flow on the project.”
Considering current economic conditions, that assistance is a relief for managers trying to plan for ambitious energy-efficiency initiatives.
Says Zanghi, “The demand for capital is increasing, and the supply is decreasing, so coming to the table with better proposals certainly improves our chance of success.”
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Hospital Partners with NYSERDA for Capital Projects