Boston Hospitals Cut Energy Use by 6% Despite Facility Growth

BOSTON, Mass. — As a result of energy conservation and efficiency, Boston hospitals have cut energy use by 6 percent over the last three years, despite expanding their real estate footprint, patient care and more extreme weather, according to a recent report.

Jan_MCDeNews_Boston_Industry NewsThe report analyzed over 18,000 energy and greenhouse gas records covering 24 million square feet of Boston hospitals in a first-in-the-nation, metropolitan sector-wide database. Developed for the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s Health Care Working Group by its coordinator, Health Care Without Harm, the data tracks the sector’s collective progress toward the GRC’s shared goals of a 25 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. Click here to read the report.

Hospitals have made significant energy reduction and GHG progress. From January 2011 through the end of 2013, the sector has cut energy use by 6 percent, equal to eliminating the annual GHG emissions of 7,486 passenger vehicles.

The report identifies several areas where Boston hospitals have made notable progress in energy efficiency, conservation and GHG reduction, including:

  • The sector reduced absolute, weather-adjusted total energy use (electricity, gas, chilled water, oil and steam) by 227 billion Btu
  • Electricity use dropped 25.4 million kWh, 6.47 percent BAU, or 6,797 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e)
  • Natural gas use dropped 1.2 million therms, 14.75 percent BAU or 6,367 MtCO2e
  • GHG reductions for all fuels was 5.7 percent, or 14,286 MtCO2e
  • Cost savings are conservatively estimated at $11.9 million, enough to pay for healthcare for 1,055 Massachusetts Medicare enrollees

This progress was achieved despite continued growth in facilities and numbers of patients, more energy-intensive research laboratories and hotter summers.

Three sector leaders have either already achieved, or will achieve, deep GHG reductions. Massachusetts General Hospital reached 35 percent reductions in 2014, Boston Medical Center is targeting a 45 percent reduction by 2020 and Brigham & Women’s Hospital is committed to reaching 35 percent by 2020.

Using the EPA Portfolio Manager and a custom website, GRC Health Care members have joined forces to ensure sector data is efficiently compiled for analysis. Benchmarking industry-specific energy use across a city enables continuous improvement.

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Posted January 12, 2015

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