Yes! The NMC team is always looking for ways to pull costs out of the healthcare system while still providing exceptional care and without reducing access to care. Thanks to the attention to detail of our entire staff, the concerted efforts of our Facilities Department, investments approved by NMC’s Board of Directors, and assistance from Efficiency Vermont, NMC is now saving approximately $200 to $300 per day in electrical costs compared to our 2012 cost-adjusted levels! That’s remarkable as it translates of upwards of $73,000 per year in savings going forward at the low end of the savings range. Healthcare continues to be expensive and efforts like this make a difference without compromising care. They are truly a win-win.
As NMC’s building has been evaluated at 59% older than the average age of Vermont’s hospitals, it is not hard to imagine that we have ranked at the bottom of those hospitals in terms of energy efficiency. I am thrilled to say that our energy rating score has increased significantly and we are no longer the least efficient. There have been many initiatives which have contributed to this improvement. We have begun to replace aged Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units and the new technology is more energy efficient than it was decades ago. We have replaced end-of-life roofing with energy efficient white roofing. We continue to replace old pneumatic controls systems with much more precise digital controls to give us far greater ability to customize settings on our equipment. We have converted interior lighting to energy efficient fixtures and installed motion-sensors in appropriate areas of the hospital. We even have staff members attuned to things as simple as turning off lights behind them when leaving rooms.
To maintain that momentum, we have hard-wired consideration of energy efficiency into the projects we plan, such as equipment replacement, renovation, and new construction. This joins other important considerations such as effectiveness, reliability, affordability, and sound levels in our decision making and our team works to make properly balanced decisions to achieve the best solution for the best value in each project. We have a number of projects in the planning phase which will enable NMC to continue to make cost-saving advancements in electrical savings, including equipment replacements relating to HVAC, Chillers, Medical Air Compressors, Hot Water systems, and additional upgrades to controls. In addition, the spaces which will be renovated and constructed as part of our upcoming Master Facility Plan projects will be much more efficient than the older sections of the hospital. All of these projects are being designed to achieve the appropriate balance of energy efficiency and our other key quality characteristics.
Our colleagues at Efficiency Vermont have been strong supporters and key partners of our efforts to save energy. They have a robust web site at which carries information on an overview of their services, the availability of rebates, explanations of various types of products and technologies, and a great section on tips which you can use in your business or your home. Their tips section touches on lighting, appliances, heating and cooling, insulation, and more. They have sections on transportation, agricultural equipment, and industrial equipment. They also have a section on renewable energy. Since all of us appreciate saving money, this website is a great place to start to make improvements at home or at your company!
At NMC, we are committed to being good stewards for our community. We understand the need to remove avoidable costs from the healthcare system without compromising quality or access. That is a daily focus here at your community hospital. Saving energy is one way we can do this and you can join us in the effort. Turn the light off when you leave an empty room. Consider what equipment you have running that could be turned off. Explore other ways to save energy and save money. It is truly a win win for all of us.
— Jill Berry Bowen, NMC’s Chief Executive Officer