Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency – VOLUME 1, Issue 1 (April)

VOLUME 1, Issue 1

Note to our readers: Please note that our Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency naming convention is changing.

This is the first of what will now be a Volume/Issue-based newsletter in lieu of a monthly one. Not to worry! You will still receive 12 issues of Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency per year.

As always, we welcome any feedback you may have. Send us an e-mail and let us know what you think.

Hospital signCountdown is on for the launch of 1-100 ENERGY STAR Score for Hospitals in Canada

The time to benchmark your energy is now. An all-new 1-100 Canadian ENERGY STAR Score for Hospitals is coming to Canada on May 13, 2014.

Instead of wasting precious funds on inefficient buildings, improve your building’s performance and choose energy efficiency. By implementing a proven energy management strategy that includes benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, you can positively and quickly impact your hospital’s bottom line.

Energy benchmarking is a key energy management best practice that will help you to improve the energy efficiency of your building portfolio. Specifically, energy benchmarking:

  • provides energy consumption information;
  • increases general awareness of how energy is being used;
  • identifies poorly performing facilities ;
  • highlights best practices that can be replicated; 
  • establishes reference points for measuring and rewarding good performance; and
  • contributes towards the development of a comprehensive energy management action plan;
  • helps build the business case for capital investments such as retrofits.

Energy Start Potfolio Manager logoGiven the undeniable benefits of energy benchmarking and the fact ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a free, online benchmarking tool, why not consider adding benchmarking to your hospital’s energy action plan?

Sometimes building owners and managers face obstacles such as a limited understanding of the benefits of energy benchmarking, lack of senior management support, inaccessibility of energy consumption data, limited understanding of how to interpret and use energy benchmarking data and/or limited time and/or resources for benchmarking.

To overcome these and other barriers, Natural Resources Canada can provide you with a road map and tips to help you get started with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager – the national tool of choice to support your benchmarking needs.

Canadian ENERGY STAR scores are already available for K-12 schools, commercial offices and now hospitals. Other building types will be added over time. Buildings that are not eligible to receive a score can also benefit from energy use intensity calculations.

Energy Start Potfolio Manager Access Page logoConsult the Portfolio Manager Quick Start Guide for help in setting up your Portfolio Manager account or access the tool directly through our Access Page. Twelve months of consecutive energy data are required to get a score. Data can be entered manually, uploaded through a spreadsheet or transmitted via web services. Get your energy data ready and start benchmarking today.

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming hospital-specific webinars. Send us your requests for your specific needs.

Upcoming webinar: What you need to know to benchmark your hospital

Natural Resources Canada will offer a hospital-specific webinar on May 14 (10:00 a.m. in French and 1:30 p.m. in English) to help you get ready to benchmark with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager.

After the launch, customized hospital-specific Portfolio Manager 101 webinars are planned for later in May. Stay tuned to HUBEE for dates. Contact us for details.

Proven success: Energy benchmarking in hospitals

Energy benchmarking in hospitals delivers results. Hospitals in the United States, for example, have made significant energy gains over a short period of time because they adopted a systematic approach to saving energy. When hospital managers realize how quickly they can achieve up to 20 percent energy savings Footnote 1, they become hooked knowing it improves their bottom line while contributing to the environment.

These savings come despite the fact that improving energy efficiency can be challenging for health care facilities because of the "complex and vital services and systems they provide, such as life support and infection control”. Moreover, medical equipment is often energy intensive.

Nonetheless, a growing number of hospitals are seeking to reduce their energy use and many are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to do so. In the U.S. for example, over 4800 hospitals have received ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager scores. In Canada, over 70 Canadian hospitals are already benchmarking their energy performance and soon will be able to receive a Canadian 1-100 ENERGY STAR score.

Benchmarking can help in all aspects of energy efficiency improvements. It’s a win-win situation; according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, every dollar saved on energy is equivalent to a $20 revenue increase for a hospital or a $10 revenue increase for a medical office building.

Benchmarking: big savings potential for Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare

Benchmarking revealed that by upgrading heating and domestic hot water systems, lighting systems and building automation systems, and balancing the ventilation systems, the organization can achieve annual utility consumption savings of 22 per cent at the Huntsville District Memorial Hospital site and 25 per cent at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital site.

Based on these findings, in February 2013, an energy retrofit initiative was approved that will create a more comfortable environment for patients and staff, result in a projected $350,000 in annual energy savings and eliminate over 2150 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from being emitted into the environment.

To learn more, see the Muskoka Algonquin Healthcare Energy Efficiency web page.

Start your energy-saving program with energy management best practices

An energy-saving program ensures an organization’s path forward in responsible energy use and ultimately, in significant energy savings. The best way to start saving is to adopt energy management best practices – proven, non-technical techniques or methodologies related to behavioural and organizational change.

Best practices chartEnergy management requires integrating technological, behavioural and organizational change. Behavioural change is required to maximize energy efficient technologies while an organizational shift is required to incorporate sustainable energy efficiency into corporate culture. The integration of these changes will maximize and sustain your organization's energy savings.

Natural Resources Canada can provide you with a number of resources to help you incorporate energy management best practices, including our Energy management best practices Web pages and links to many resources. We also offer a simple, six-step approach to help you get started.

Committing your organization to a best practices approach facilitates business decisions about equipment, establishes procedures that ensure greater energy and process efficiency and encourages responsible use of our energy resources – good for business, the economy and consumers.

COMING SOON! Stay tuned for the release of a new energy management best practices guide for commercial and institutional buildings from Natural Resources Canada.

Calendar of events and other important dates

The following list highlights key events:

Let us know what you think

Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency is published by Natural Resources Canada’s Office of Energy Efficiency and distributed monthly to 12 000 subscribers. Our goal is to deliver meaningful news and information about programs, services and events related to energy efficiency in commercial and institutional buildings and, as well, to share the success stories of organizations that have benefited from positive change. Help us spread the word by sending this link to your colleagues. We encourage you to subscribe to our sister publication that focusses on energy efficiency in industrial facilities, Heads Up CIPEC.

We welcome reader feedback and are always interested in your story ideas.

Send Feedback | Subscribe/Unsubscribe | Change Profile | Heads Up CIPEC | Send Us Your Success Stories