Turn your energy dollars into healthcare dollars
There are more than 10,000 medical office buildings in Canada, which account for about 10.5 million gigajoules of energy use per year.Footnote 1 As energy costs continue to rise, that energy use represents an increasingly large percentage of overhead costs. Energy efficiency is key to reversing that trend, helping medical offices spend less money on energy so they can invest more into patient care. According to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, every dollar saved by a medical office is equivalent to $10 in new revenue.Footnote 2 This means that an energy efficiency project that saves $5,000 per year is equivalent to generating $50,000 in new revenues per year, which can then be reinvested into core medical services, including staff, equipment and other patient services.
Benchmarking your medical office’s energy consumption with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is a good place to start to help make smart business decisions – decisions that will improve your energy performance and save your medical office money in the long run. Through energy benchmarking, not only will you gain a better understanding of how your medical office’s energy performance ranks nationally, but you will also be able to use the benchmarking data to assess your energy management goals over time, and identify strategic opportunities for savings and recognition opportunities.
Collect the data you need to benchmark your medical office
Medical office refers to buildings used to provide diagnosis and treatment for medical, dental, or psychiatric outpatient care. To obtain a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, in addition to your medical office’s basic tombstone information, you need the following building data:
- Gross floor area
- Number of workers on the main shift
- Hours of operation per week
- Weather and climate (using heating and cooling degree days, based on postal code)
- Percent of the building that is cooled
- 12 months of energy use data
- Specific energy billing information for each building for all purchased energy. You will need to begin with at least 12 consecutive months for each energy source and update regularly with monthly usage data.
Note that the above information is not required to start benchmarking. You can start using the tool to track your energy performance no matter how much data you have. However, in order to obtain the 1-100 score or an energy use intensity value, you need the details above.
Learn more about benchmarking and energy efficiency for medical offices
Natural Resources Canada resources
- The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
- HealthCare Energy Leaders Ontario
- Health Care Energy Leadership Program: An initiative of My Sustainable Canada and the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care whose purpose is to promote energy efficiency at health care facilities across Canada.
- Toronto and Region Conservation for The Living City’s Greening Health Care
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s page on Healthcare resources
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