If energy efficiency in hospitals and care facilities were a patient, it would be in a bad way. “Healthcare facilities are the biggest energy consumer in the trade, commerce and services sector,” observed Franz Untersteller, Environment and Energy Minister for the state of Baden-Württemberg, three years ago. On average, he said, each individual hospital bed uses about the same amount of energy as two single-family homes per year. According to estimates, in many cases operators could save up to 40% on current electricity usage and 32% on heat. But what specific measures can be taken to increase energy efficiency in hospitals and care homes?
According to an article by MVV Energie AG, Mannheim, 70% of the total energy consumed in German hospitals is used for heat generation, primarily to heat rooms as well as to supply the required amounts of hot water and steam. There is a broad range of possibilities for savings – from installing an efficient heating system, to air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology, to modern building management systems. There is also considerable potential for savings in electricity usage. A large German hospital consumes roughly the same amount of electricity as a small town, says MVV, accounting for around 50% of its total energy costs. PCs and medical equipment in particular use a great deal of electricity, as does technical supply equipment such as blowers, fans, pumps and compressors. Energy consumption is also high for lighting, which is responsible for 22% of total electricity demand, and for catering, laundry and elevators. An automatic load management system is one solution which can help to avoid extreme load peaks here, by switching off non-essential equipment during peak consumption periods or postponing energy-intensive operations until periods of lower consumption. LED lamps can cut the energy used for lighting by up to 80%.
Operators, facility managers and building services engineers will find much more information about energy efficiency in hospitals and care facilities at the exhibition EM-Power. The exhibition for professional energy customers will take place in Munich from June 20–22, 2018. In addition, the Compact Energy Forum as part of the EM-Power exhibition will feature a presentation program specially tailored to the target audience, creating a platform for exhibiting companies to present successful best practice projects from the healthcare system.