Hospitals consume approximately 5% of the total energy use in the United States. That equates to 458 trillion Btus (Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey [CBECS]). Hospitals spends approximately $5 billion on energy per year, or 1-3% of its operating budget (Department of Energy). Reducing the operational cost of most health care systems is very important to meet the C-Suite Triple Aim and now the new “Quadruple Aim.”
Most of the energy consumed by health care systems arise from the heating and air conditioning systems. Chiller plants are the single largest consumer of energy in most health care facilities. This energy use can be exacerbated if the system is not design to operate at its maximum efficiency. Many health care facilities are 24-hour operations, and therefore chiller plants operate every day all year round. Therefore, making the chiller plant more efficient is one of the greatest means of reduction of energy use for large health care systems.