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Department of Energy Announces the Launch of the Hospital Energy Alliance to Increase Energy Efficiency in the Healthcare Sector

April 29, 2009 - 12:00am

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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today the launch of the Hospital Energy Alliance (HEA), an industry-led partnership between the DOE and national healthcare sector leaders to promote the integration of advanced energy efficiency and renewable technologies in hospital design, construction, retrofit, operations, and maintenance.

DOE's Richard F. Moorer joined American Hospital Association President and Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Umbdenstock and other national industry and association leaders at the Alliance's first Executive Roundtable on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC to discuss strategies to dramatically reduce the sector's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. 

"Hospitals are among the nation's most complex and energy-intensive facilities," said Moorer.  "The Hospital Energy Alliance was created to spur energy efficiency and lower costs in the healthcare sector by accelerating the adoption of high-performance technologies while preserving or enhancing healthcare delivery.  Under the new alliance, hospitals and healthcare organizations will have access to the resources and technical expertise available at DOE and its national laboratories to develop and deploy innovative solutions to cut costs, lower energy usage, and reduce pollution across the country."

Hospitals use 836 trillion BTUs of energy annually and have more than 2.5 times the energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions of commercial office buildings, producing more than 30 pounds of CO2 emissions per square foot.  Reducing the energy intensity of this sector will decrease its carbon footprint and also alleviate stress on America's electric power infrastructure.  Additionally, new energy efficiency strategies hold the promise of reduced costs for the sector, as U.S. hospitals spend over $5 billion annually on energy, often equaling 1 to 3 percent of a typical hospital's operating budget or an estimated 15 percent of profits.

HEA is the third energy alliance launched by DOE as part of its Net-Zero Commercial Building Initiative.  In 2008, the Department also joined with large retail stores to form the Retailer Energy Alliance, and in April 2009, DOE joined with commercial real estate companies to introduce the Commercial Real Estate Energy Alliance (CREEA).

The energy alliances are designed to connect building owners and operators with research, advanced technologies, and analytical tools emerging from DOE and its national laboratories.  They serve as forums for creating and sharing evidence-based strategies and best practices, thus ensuring greater consistency in energy-efficiency program design and delivery.  Each alliance's collective buying power will also encourage the production of more energy-efficient equipment by providing manufacturers greater clarity on the business needs for that sector.

DOE's Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative (CBI) aims to achieve market-ready, zero-energy commercial buildings by 2025.  CBI was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007), which authorizes the Department to collaborate with the private sector, DOE's national laboratories, other federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations to advance high-performance commercial green buildings.  Other components of CBI include the National Laboratory Collaborative on Building Technologies, which concentrates the efforts of five national laboratories toward the Net-Zero energy goal, and the Commercial Building National Accounts, which conducts cost-shared research, development, and deployment for new building technologies among major national companies.

Members of the HEA Steering Committee have been instrumental in setting the direction and goals of the alliance and driving the creation of a consistent and compelling voice to national manufacturers and distributors.  Current members include representatives from Catholic Healthcare West; Department of Veterans Affairs; Gundersen Lutheran Health System; Hospital Corporation of America; Kaiser Permanente; New York-Presbyterian Hospital; Providence Health & Services; TECO/Texas Medical Center; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE); American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); Global Health and Safety Initiative (GHSI); and Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES).

Learn more about DOE's Commercial Building Initiative.

Media contact(s):

(202) 586-4940

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