St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Elliot Lake, ON has started an energy and facility renewal program designed to reduce energy consumption and improve the overall patient care environment. Hospital officials said the program will also substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The program is funded through the Province of Ontario’s Hospital Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP) and the Hospital Infrastructure Renewal Funding (HIRF). In addition, the energy solutions provider, Honeywell, will identify and implement energy-efficient technologies that will result in guaranteed savings. A wide range of energy and infrastructure upgrades may be implemented such as new lighting and HVAC equipment, improvements to mechanical systems, and upgrades to building automation systems to optimize energy management. Wherever practical, energy-efficient technologies will replace older, less-efficient systems — reducing electricity, fuel consumption, and related costs.

“As a Catholic health care organization, St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake’s mission is to build on the legacy of our founders, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, and continue the healing ministry of Jesus, serving all who come to us for care. Being able to fight climate change and improve energy efficiency will not only help reduce greenhouse emissions, but will also significantly improve patient comfort and enable the hospital to redirect savings into patient care,” says Pierre Ozolins, CEO at St. Joseph’s General Hospital Elliot Lake. “The ability to build on the enduring legacy bestowed to us by an extraordinary group of women, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie, is very humbling and invigorating.”

Through the HEEP program’s $1.8 million contribution and HIRF funding of $279,375, Honeywell will immediately begin implementing the following upgrades:

● Replace existing heating boiler with a state-of-the-art model utilizing the most recent technologies in terms of energy efficiency and heat recovery

● Update 60-year old AHUs and exhaust systems

● Install a new BMS that will allow better control of heating, ventilation, and cooling.

The initial estimated savings, at current utility prices, is $250K-$300K annually. Hospital officials said the savings will pay for the infrastructure upgrades, and will be reinvested into patient care and other capital projects to better serve the community and surrounding area.

“Reducing Northeastern Ontario’s hospital energy costs will help the environment, our hospitals, and ultimately Northerners as savings can be directed to frontline patient care. Altogether 15 hospitals will benefit from more than $7.4 million in provincial funding to become more energy efficient,” said Kate Fyfe, Interim CEO of the North East LHIN. This program is an initiative of the Climate Change Action Plan and uses proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market to modernize facilities such as hospitals, universities, and heritage buildings.