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Hospitals work for healthy planet through energy efficiency

 
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Source: Jeff Buell

April 23, 2018 – Burlington, VT – Just in time for Earth Day, Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, VT, became the fourth Vermont hospital to achieve ENERGY STAR® certification. With Mt. Ascutney’s certification, one-quarter of Vermont’s hospitals have now earned the designation that demonstrates they are among the top hospitals in the nation for energy efficiency.

 

Starting in 2011, hospitals and Efficiency Vermont began using energy benchmarking to evaluate the energy performance of hospital buildings in the state. As a result of this collaborative effort each medical facility received a comprehensive energy report, which has helped them to identify attainable, cost-effective measures for reducing and managing their energy use.

 

Over the lifetime of the energy efficiency improvements Vermont hospitals have made since 2011, more than 115,873 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be avoided; equivalent to removing nearly 25,000 cars from the road for a year. These energy efficiency investments will yield an estimated cost savings of more than $34 million over the lifetime of the improvements made.

 

Mt. Ascutney attained its ENERGY STAR certification in March, joining three other Vermont hospitals in earning this distinction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:

Gifford Medical Center in Randolph
Springfield Hospital in Springfield
UVM Health Network - Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin

 

Buildings that receive this certification perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide for energy efficiency. Last year only 64 hospitals across the nation were able to achieve this standard.

 

Mt. Ascutney Hospital will hold a banner-raising ceremony Tuesday at noon to display its ENERGY Star flag for the first time and celebrate this accomplishment with patients, staff, and the community in honor of Earth Day.

 

“Earning the 2018 ENERGY STAR certification took the combined energies of our entire staff,” said Dr. Joseph Perras, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. “When we earned a midlevel score four years ago, we knew we could do better. Our focus has paid off, both for the environment and for our patients. Today, our spaces are illuminated and climate-controlled to industry best practices; we’ve lowered our energy costs, and we’re committed to mindful environmental stewardship. As proud as we are to be recognized, we understand that ensuring energy efficiency is an ongoing process. We’re constantly reviewing new technologies and opportunities to further reduce our energy use, and it’s our goal to lead by example for our industry and the communities we serve.”

 

Central Vermont Medical Center achieved its ENERGY STAR certification in 2016. On Wednesday at 10 a.m. hospital officials will unveil a new energy kiosk in hospital’s main lobby, where visitors can view real-time energy data and see how energy efficiency benefits the environment as well as the hospital’s financial bottom line.

 

“Efficiency Vermont is honored to partner with Vermont hospitals to drive down the cost of hospital operations through energy efficiency; a benefit that we all receive  as it helps reduce the overall cost of healthcare,” said Efficiency Vermont Director Karen Glitman. “There’s a natural partnership between energy efficiency and health care that we are excited to continue exploring with our hospital partners, as more research points to a positive relationship between energy efficient homes, healthier people, and lower healthcare costs.”