February 12th, 2009

Grumman/Butkus Associates, nationally recognized health-care energy consultants, again ranked Great River Medical Center the nation’s most energy-efficient hospital. Great River Medical Center placed first in three out of four energy consumption categories based on Grumman/Butkus Associates’ 2007-2008 Hospital Energy Survey.

“This is the seventh time in the past eight years we’ve placed first in total energy consumption,” said Daryl Wolff, a supervisor in the hospital’s Facilities Department. “It shows that we’re doing something right with our energy savings programs.”

In the fossil fuels category, Great River Medical Center received two best-in-class awards: one for consumption and the second for energy cost per square foot per year. The hospital also placed first in the water/sewage category for gallons used per square foot per year. The center ranked eighth for the cost per square foot in the same category. In the electrical category, the center ranked fourth in electrical energy costs and eighth in consumption.

The survey compared Great River Medical Center with nearly 100 hospitals of similar size across five states in the upper Midwest region. The average total energy consumption of all hospitals in the survey was 250,000 BTUs. The average total consumption at Great River Medical Center during the same period was 98,000 BTUs.

“A key to maintaining our ranking is buying high-quality, energy-efficient equipment whenever possible,” Wolff said. Savings also can be gained by controlling and directing facility light fixtures and ensuring heavy-duty equipment is properly maintained and running at peak performance.

Health-care facilities continually face costs that continue to rise and are especially affected by the high energy demands necessary to operate medical imaging equipment, climate control and clean air filtration.

According to a 2005 Environmental Protection Agency study, health-care facilities that implement energy-conservation measures outperform their competitors by as much as 10 percent in net operating income. Despite age or technology, high-performing hospitals use as little as one-fourth the energy used by similar facilities at the bottom of the performance scale.