OhioHealth is one of the premier health care providers in central Ohio, operating over 9 million square feet of facilities including 12 hospitals. Before we met OhioHealth, OhioHealth had formed a multi-disciplinary and multi-departmental team to manage all aspects of energy across their portfolio. For years, the team has engaged in infrastructure investment planning, energy procurement efforts, utility rebate program participation, etc. The team’s efforts made a significant impact on OhioHealth’s energy costs and caused OhioHealth to win multiple energy efficiency awards.
In 2018 after years of organic success in energy management, the team began strategizing for the coming years. What opportunities for energy efficiency exist within this huge portfolio? How can OhioHealth manage energy use and costs in a consistent manner? What should OhioHealth’s goals be for energy and sustainability? How can OhioHealth align economics, environmental impact, patient health, and existing processes for success?
In 2018, OhioHealth hired Go Sustainable Energy to spearhead two initiatives. First, Go Sustainable Energy studied ten hospitals to identify over 150 actionable energy savings opportunities with the potential for almost $700,000 in ongoing annual energy cost savings, over half of which would be low-cost to implement. This effort also identified over $300,000 in potential utility incentives if these opportunities were implemented.
In parallel, we developed OhioHealth’s Energy Master Plan (EMP) framework with input from a cross-sectional group of over OhioHealth stakeholders, including over a dozen departments and multiple decision-making levels. The vision and guiding principles of the EMP are in alignment with OhioHealth’s Mission, Vision, and Values. The EMP stands upon eleven pillars, which are areas of tactical focus for impacting energy use and cost.
Since 2019, we have been embedded within OhioHealth as their system-level Energy Manager. We work with Real Estate, Construction, and Facilities teams, and multiple other departments and care sites to continuously advise on energy-related decisions.
OhioHealth has an Energy Master Plan framework to guide its actions and to continue evolving over the coming years. We have advanced monthly utility data and cost reporting to understand the thousands of utility bills received each month and to expand the number of stakeholders that engage OhioHealth’s energy use and costs. OhioHealth is making highly informed and strategic investments to reduce energy use and energy costs by:
- Developing energy metrics and standards for new construction
- Using benchmarking data to target improvement opportunities
- Developing achievable and measurable energy goals for the entire portfolio
- Researching advanced topics such as renewable energy systems, energy data and metering, and centralized automation systems
- Managing utility incentive program engagement at the system level.
- Developing a culture of energy efficiency with facility teams
This has been a team effort and we did not achieve these results alone. Dozens of OhioHealth employees have provided critical insights, increasing our team’s effectiveness. This has enabled the cost of our embedded energy management service to be paid for multiple times over by the impacts achieved.
- The energy study identified about $700,000 in ongoing annual savings, over half of which would be low-cost to implement. This effort also identified over $300,000 in potential utility incentives.
- The closer review of the utility and energy performance data helped identify over $1,000,000 in utility errors over the last two years for items such as billing errors and faulty utility meters.
- In addition to all the benefits of energy management and one-time cost savings, over $200,000 of additional annual savings opportunities have been implemented separate from the previous audit efforts.
System Energy Manager, Hospital Energy Manager, Energy Auditor, Strategic Energy Planning Consultant
Abdul Qayyum Mohammed, PE
Matthew Worsham, CEM