5 Hospital Energy Conservation Tips & Strategies

October 13, 2022 By Mid-Atlantic Controls 4 minute read

A hospital hallway benefiting from proper energy management techniques.

Facility managers across all industries face challenges in reducing energy costs while maintaining their buildings. 

This is mainly because facility managers are also responsible for the health and safety of the building's occupants. 

Hospitals are complicated to maintain because they require high indoor air environmental quality (IAQ) standards, especially in operating rooms. Implementing hospital energy-saving strategies without sacrificing comfort for patients and hospital employees is imperative.

Facility managers can start by performing an energy audit to determine exact energy usage levels. Upgrading to a more modern Building Management System (BMS) can facilitate the audit process by running powerful reports and analytics.


5 Hospital Energy Saving Concepts

The following tips will help facility managers of hospitals and healthcare facilities improve energy efficiency without compromising occupant health and safety.

1. Energy Management

A review of the current data on a hospital's energy usage is always the first step in saving energy. An energy management system (EMS) should record the majority of data required for this purpose.

However, not every EMS saves a complete history of energy usage. Furthermore, an EMS may be difficult to navigate, which can cause managers to struggle with hospital energy saving. Facility managers must be able to easily access reports that will help them determine when an EMS is running correctly.

The ability to change schedules is also an essential capability for a hospital's EMS. The inability to schedule downtime is one of the more challenging aspects of maintaining EMS software in a hospital.

Therefore, hospital facility managers can’t simply call a technician whenever they need to modify their hospital's EMS software. As a result, managers need to understand better how their hospitals operate.

2. Equipment Upgrades

Upgrading a hospital's energy-consuming equipment can be one of the most effective ways of reducing energy usage. The primary consideration for an equipment upgrade project is the initial capital expenditure compared to long-term energy savings.

Essential equipment to upgrade includes the controls, lighting, and building envelope.


Lighting controls are only now becoming prevalent in hospitals. This technology uses sensors to determine the amount of artificial light needed in a particular space, allowing the controls to dim or brighten the lights automatically.

A hospital lighting study by the University of Oregon demonstrated the benefits of combining lighting controls with energy-efficient lighting. They reduced power density from 2.2 watts per square foot (W/sq ft.) to 0.88 W/sq ft. without reducing the overall light level.


Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are much more energy efficient than traditional types of lighting, such as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs.

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that LEDs use about 44-kilowatt hours (kWh) per year, incandescent bulbs 350 kWh, and 140 kWh for fluorescent bulbs. The LED cost savings is especially significant for hospitals that require lighting 24 hours a day.

Building Envelope

The foundation, roof, walls, and windows of a building make up its envelope. They combine to create a physical barrier between the outside elements and the conditioned facility.

As they age, these structures can lose their insulating properties, resulting in greater temperature variations. Installing the latest energy-efficient windows can realize significant energy savings for hospitals over 15 years old.

3. Heat Recovery

A combined heat and power (CHP) system, also known as a cogeneration system, converts a facility’s waste heat into energy. This system then uses that energy for heating and cooling. These systems have recently become highly popular in hospitals and assisted in significant energy savings.

4. Operating Room HVAC Strategies

Operating rooms have strict requirements for environmental conditions such as air changes per hour, humidity, pressure, and temperature. They typically operate well above typical facility standards to avoid creating an environment that could be hazardous to patients.

Hospitals can achieve considerable cost savings by reducing their energy consumption when not in use. However, facility managers must use great caution when implementing such setback strategies.

5. Right-sizing Fans

Facility managers can reduce energy consumption by ensuring that fans are just large enough to handle the heating and cooling load. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study showed that 60 percent of building fans are oversized by at least 10 percent. Managers should “right-size” fans after implementing all other energy-saving measures and establishing a new energy consumption baseline.

Achieving Hospital Energy Savings With Energy Management

The medical industry has much to gain from embracing the latest building automation and energy-saving techniques. This offers existing and new facilities and hospitals a way to reduce energy costs and minimize wasted energy.

A company with expertise in energy management can perform a building operation review to determine the necessary energy management or environmental improvements to reach established goals.

Having an experienced BAS provider come out and provide a consultation is the first step to hospital energy savings. Contact us below to learn how MACC can help your facility reduce energy usage without compromising patient health.

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