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Ridgecrest Energy Advisors: Hospitals Cut Energy Consumption 10-30 Percent and Win EPA 'Battle of the Buildings'
June 3, 2015 — Of all commercial buildings, hospitals are among the most intensive users of energy, and among the most wasteful — 30 percent wasted energy by some estimates. While hospitals account for less than 2 percent of all commercial building floor space, they consume more than 4 percent of all the energy used in the commercial sector. The average hospital energy spend is 10 times the per-building cost of other building types.
Why do hospitals use so much energy? Among the reasons are that they are open 24/7; typically have more than 1,000 employees, patients, and visitors daily; have very sophisticated HVAC systems that have to comply with very specific air quality regulations; and have high-energy consumers such as diagnostic and lab equipment, operating rooms, emergency rooms, laundries, sterilization, many computers and servers, food service, pharmacies, refrigeration, etc.
Like other types of facilities, hospitals have initiated energy saving campaigns involving shutting off lights, adjusting thermostats to use less energy, adding window film, etc. But conventional wisdom regarding significant reductions in energy consumption is simply this: capital projects. Big ones. That means replacing or updating big, very expensive equipment like chillers, air handlers, boilers, control systems, and lots of other components.
One Texas-based company, Ridgecrest Energy Advisors, however, has turned that conventional wisdom on its head. In the last three out of four years, Ridgecrest’s hospital clients have won the hospital category of EPA’s National Building Competition, called the ENERGY STAR “Battle of the Buildings.” The competition, which is about energy reduction in commercial buildings, has been running for four years, and Ridgecrest's client hospitals have taken the top hospital slot nationally in three of those years. When the 2014 results were recently released, Ridgecrest's hospital clients took the top two slots in the hospital category.
The firm's engineers accomplished these results without making or suggesting any capital improvements, completely defying prevailing wisdom that you must replace equipment to achieve significant savings. Ridgecrest engineers achieved these wins for clients simply by maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of the systems already in place. The other competitors took the “conventional wisdom” approach.
As hospitals face new challenges on the patient revenue side, reducing operational costs is more urgent than ever. Even hospitals that think they've exhausted all practical options find a zero-capital solution that can save them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on their energy costs to be nearly a “no brainer.” And at the same time, hospitals are challenged to reduce their carbon footprint without sacrificing the quality of patient care and service. Ridgecrest’s engineering solution has accomplished that for these winning hospitals and the rest of the firm’s clients.
Available to most hospitals, Ridgecrest is providing hospitals with a unique approach that nobody else is offering with this level of savings (some offer up to 10 percent reduction, while Ridgecrest starts there and goes up).
For more information, visit http://www.ridgecrestenergy.com/.