Owensboro Health Regional Hospital has been designated as an Energy Star® facility, achieving a goal that has been more than five years in the making.
In April 2019, OHRH achieved an Energy Star score of 75. Energy Star uses a 1-100 scale that compares a building’s energy efficiency and performance to industry standards. The Energy Star designation is good for one year only and facilities must reapply annually and demonstrate that they are continuing to meet the necessary criteria.
Owensboro Health President and CEO Greg Strahan said this is a great achievement to celebrate.
“I am extremely proud of the Facilities team at Owensboro Health. It is no small feat to be named an Energy Star facility,” Strahan said. “This is truly a win-win situation. By reducing energy consumption, we save money and help control costs. We also demonstrate our commitment to being a good neighbor and community partner, because we are conscientious about our environmental impact.”
Owensboro Health’s energy efficiency efforts began in 2014 when the system partnered with Harshaw Trane, a Louisville-based energy engineering and consulting company. Harshaw Trane’s analytics and monitoring tools helped Owensboro Health target areas where energy efficiency could be improved and the system began acting on what was learned. Those efforts led to an 11% decrease in energy consumption in 2017, which earned OHRH the 2018 Energy to Care award from the American Society of Health Care Engineering.
Some of the efforts that have resulted in big energy consumption reductions include:
Switching to light-emitting diode (LED) lights: LEDs can have double the lifespan of a fluorescent light, and an annual operating cost that is one-third lower.
Motion sensors: Tying lights to motion sensors at OHRH reduces unnecessary usage when rooms are empty.
“Set-back” systems: These systems power down room lighting and HVAC during low-usage hours. The operating rooms (as well as other areas) at OHRH use set-back settings, but can return to normal operation within three minutes.
Real-time monitoring: If equipment malfunctions, Harshaw Trane can contact the Facilities department within minutes, helping speed up repairs.
Since 2014, Owensboro Health has decreased energy consumption by 21.5%. As of February 2019, that resulted in a savings of $1.7 million dollars. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, Owensboro Health’s energy savings are equivalent to preventing the emission of 13,788 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
By earning the Energy Star designation, OHRH becomes only the second hospital in Kentucky to reach this accomplishment for 2019. Only eight hospitals have ever earned this distinction within the state, and OHRH Is the only one to do so in Western Kentucky. The other hospitals that have earned the Energy Star designation are in Louisville, Northern Kentucky, Winchester and London.
Joe Taylor, executive director of Facilities for Owensboro Health, said this achievement caps off years of hard work and perseverance.
“The Facilities team has demonstrated diligence and dedication time and time again. Among our team, we live by the motto, ‘We are all caregivers,’” Taylor said. “We care for patients, visitors and our coworkers by ensuring our buildings and infrastructure are always in good working order. We also look for ways to do even better. Continuous improvement is a hallmark of a good facilities team, because nobody has ever achieved great things by standing still.”