Hospital receives high marks for energy use

Hospital receives high marks for energy use

March 1, 2010

By Jason Subik

The Daily Gazette

NLH cares for Mother Earth, too

Nathan Littauer Hospital has received praise as a health industry “bench mark” for its energy management by an independent auditing firm hired by the New York Power Authority.

Laurence Kelly, Nathan Littauer ‘s president and CEO, said the energy audit was conducted as part of the oversight for his hospital’s participation in the New York Power Authority’s Power for Jobs program, which has given Nathan Littauer approximately $100,000 each year for the last seven years.

The funding is given for implementing energy savings initiatives while increasing employment.

Getzville-based PRES Energy LLC, the auditing firm hired by the Power Authority, examined the hospital’s energy and water use, including its heating and cooling systems, energy management control systems and lighting systems and electrical distribution.

The auditing firm found the energy savings programs at Nathan Littauer on an annual basis have the equivalent environmental impact of removing one car from the road, planting two acres of trees, conserving 12 barrels of crude oil and conserving two tons of coal.

“The Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home is one of the most progressive facilities in regards to the management of gas and electricity,” according to the summary of the audit report.

“Many hospitals in the country have neglected their infrastructure and subsequent energy management which has resulted in higher health [costs]. Nathan Littauer is a bench mark for the industry for its innovative approach to all aspects of managing its resources and waste.”

Kelly said he always believed his hospital had taken the right steps to conserve energy, but he didn’t realize where the hospital stood in relation to other hospitals. “We’ve always been working to be greener and save energy costs but you never really know how you’re doing compared to everybody else,” Kelly said. “I think we realize now not everybody is doing what we are doing and we really are further ahead than most.”

Dave Bruhns, Littauer ‘s director of engineering, said that in its audit report PRES Energy made two suggestions for what the hospital could do to further increase its energy efficiency.

PRES Energy suggested they replace boilers in the hospital’s nursing home and upgrade the hospital’s exit signs from incandescent light bulbs to LED technology, which is more energy efficient. “We’re about 80 percent through [installing LED exit signs] anyway, so that’s almost knocked off,and we’re planning on replacing the older boilers at the nursing home that they recommended to us,” he said.

Bruhns said it’s long been the policy of the hospital to purchase energy-efficient equipment whenever old equipment is replaced.

He said little by little the energy savings has been significant and it’s gratifying to receive praise for the effort.