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Environment

Environmental Initiatives at UVMHN-CVMC

Central Vermont Medical Center is striving to be the first hospital in Vermont to achieve the coveted ENERGY STAR® designation.

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In early 2016, Central Vermont Medical Center earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) coveted ENERGY STAR designation, which signifies the facility performs in the top 25 percent of all hospitals nationwide for energy efficiency and meets strict facility performance levels established by the EPA.  CVMC has improved the ENERGY STAR score for their entire Berlin campus by over 50 points.

This achievement is an amazing milestone for the hospital’s five-year “Energy Savings Initiative”, which has reduced energy consumption by 28 percent—an unprecedented mark for a Vermont hospital.

Working closely with partners—Efficiency Vermont (the statewide energy efficiency utility), Liebert Engineering, and Control Technologies—the team embarked on a multi-faceted initiative to implement an energy master plan to improve the performance of most hospital systems.

The use of new and innovative technologies has led to an annual savings of:

  • Over 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity
  • 110,000 gallons of fuel oil
  • 6.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 604 passenger vehicles off the road
  • $750,000 per year in operating costs, realizing a 37 percent return on investment

Major projects implemented by UVM Health Network – Central Vermont Medical Center include:

  • Upgrade of hospital lighting to more efficient technologies
    • Working with Buss Lighting, a comprehensive lighting audit and design for the hospital and campus medical office buildings was conducted to identify opportunities to improve the quality, controllability, and energy performance of lighting systems.
    • Existing T8 fluorescent lighting was converted to LED troffers with integrated controls, with many existing fixtures eliminated due to improved light distribution by new LEDs.
    • When all lighting upgrades are complete (expected at end of 2016), CVMC will have cut electricity use for lighting systems by over 60 percent, while dramatically improving light quality and adding controls through the process.
  • Installation of a Templifier
    • A chiller works by extracting heat from indoor spaces and rejecting it outside, usually through a cooling tower.  Instead of simply wasting this heat CVMC now recovers it, boosts up the temperature, and repurposes around the hospital to serve reheat and domestic hot water loads.
    • This heat recovery heat pump—known as a Templifier—reduces oil consumption by 70,000 gallons each year, dramatically offloading boiler use during the summer.  
  • Optimized performance for hospital-wide heating, ventilation, and cooling systems
    • A data analytics package called SkySpark has been consistently utilized to visualize and analyze trends from the hospital’s building management system to identify opportunities to optimize components, measure and verify results, and ensure the persistence of implemented control changes.
    • Each air-handling system was retrocommissioned over a two-year period, enabling temperature setbacks, reducing airflow to code standards, and resetting static pressure that led to a significant drop in fan energy for air distribution across hospital spaces.
    • Operating rooms were scheduled for unoccupied setbacks of airflow, reducing from 20 to 6 air changes per hour and the energy intensity to condition ventilation air.  Rooms are equipped with the ability to override unoccupied modes when needed, utilizing a red -> green light to indicate when the room is ready for use (less than 10 minutes).
    • Chilled water systems are monitored closely when operating to determine how to stage components to deliver cooling for the lowest energy input across the entire plant, including chillers, pumps, cooling tower, and end-use delivery.
  • Conversion of boilers from fuel oil to compressed natural gas
    • Boilers were upgraded with dual-fuel burners to run on compressed natural gas with oil as a backup fuel.
    • Annual cost savings of $400,000 for this fuel switch, with boiler conversion costs paid back in less than one year.
  • An employee engagement campaign for staff to identify energy reduction opportunities across their departments and areas of focus
    • With a community of over 700 staff, engaging employees in this initiative has been key to its success.  Individual decisions about what gets plugged in and how equipment is operated leads to a sizeable portion of hospital energy use.  Educating and empowering staff to reevaluate the status quo has had a sizeable impact on campus energy bills.
    • As part of a hospital-wide push to identify cost-cutting measures, energy kaizen events were conducted across several departments, staff ideas to save energy were solicited and acted upon, and ongoing employee recognition maintained momentum.
    • Over 40 staff ideas to cut energy use were identified across hospital departments to improve operational efficiency and reduce operating costs.

Our Results

CVMC has reduced energy consumption by 28%—unprecedented for a Vermont hospital—improving CVMC’s Energy Star score by over 40 points. The hospital achieve ENERGY STAR designation, which is expected in 2016, emerging as a leader among Vermont hospitals by demonstrating what can be achieved through effective energy management practices.

Cost Reductions 

  • Over 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of electricity
  • 110,000 gallons of fuel oil
  • 6.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 604 passenger vehicles off the road
  • $750,000 per year in operating costs, realizing a 37 percent return on investment

Graph showing CVMC oil consumption from 2009 to 2014

Graph showing CVMC Electricity Use from 2009 to 2016

Graph showing CVMC energy expenses from 2010 to 2016