By Ruth Carol Atieno
Hospitals operate 24 hours a day and therefore they need a full time supply of electricity through out. This for sure contributes to huge electricity bills. The good news is that something can be done about this, factoring in energy efficiency measures in hospitals.
However, the journey towards having an energy efficient hospital will require lots of research, planning, patience and persistence.
Understanding The Hospital’s Energy Consumption Patterns
The very first step towards having an energy efficient hospital is understanding the hospitals energy use. Identifying when it operates most on electricity, which areas consume most of the electricity supplied etc. This can be possible by employing an energy auditor to do a complete analysis of the hospitals energy consumption patterns.
Eenovators Limited is the leading energy consultancy firm in Kenya and is in the best position to conduct energy audits and help in the implementation of the solutions and findings. They will walk with you all through the energy efficiency journey and help you achieve a totally energy efficient hospital.
Clean Power Generating Plants
A hospital with a large compound could consider constructing clean power generating plants. For instance a bio-gas plant can be used in the production of Methane gas. This measure is also a plus to the environment as it is environmental friendly.
Solar energy is a low hanging fruit and for sure all hospitals should tap into it. Imagine having a hospital that operates fully on energy from the sun. Going off grid is a dream that can be achieved.
Solar energy can be used in lighting, heating and powering equipment.
Proper Lighting Measures
Considering the activities that take place in a hospital, lighting is very important. Well, then the bulbs should fall in the three categories of energy efficient bulbs, Halogen Incandescent Lights, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) and Light Emitting Diodes (LED). Old bulbs should also be replaced with new ones.
Another factor to consider is removing excess lights from vending machines. Vending machines with lots of unnecessary lighting will only contribute to a huge electricity bill at the end of each month.
The use of natural light especially in corridors is also on of the stepping stones towards an energy efficient hospital.
Controlling Heating And Cooling
Proper ventilation is key in a hospital. And this is also an area where energy efficient measures can be incorporated.
Hospitals can consider lowering the cooling and heating processes in area with no occupancy or usage. They can also set thermostats to seasonal changes.
Installation of air curtain systems will also help a hospital achieve energy efficiency.
Air filters and condenser coils should be cleaned regularly because they will not operate correctly when clogged with dust or soot.
Energy Efficient Equipment
The equipment in a hospital tend to be the greatest contributor to huge electricity bill and they are so many. Switching to energy efficient ones will save greatly the electricity supplied to a hospital.
Old equipment should also be replaced with news ones. And ensure all the equipment are functioning as they should.
Equipment should also be turned off when not in use. To avoid unnecessary energy consumption.
Energy Efficient Buildings
Hospital buildings should also be designed in a manner that energy efficiency can be achieved. For instance, building a hospital with large windows to allow in natural light during the day.
Incorporating energy conservation measures when building will also help the hospital achieve energy efficiency.
Creating Energy Efficiency Awareness
Educating the hospital staff and patients on simple energy efficiency measures is also very important as it will keep them in their best energy efficiency behavior.
If hospitals incorporate these measures in their operations, the energy consumption rates will go down and the bills will not be as they were before. A reduction in the energy bills will affect the hospitals pricing and the money saved can be used in developing the hospital or funding its projects.
An energy efficient hospital will improve on the comfort of the staff and patients.
There will also be reduces carbon emissions and any other pollutants into the environment.