The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released an update to the performance-scale methodology for its hospital Energy Star program, and it now includes items on MRIs, adjustments for regional weather, and the removal of a 5 million-square-foot cap size which will allow larger facilities to participate.
EPA updates Energy Star methodology
To earn Energy Star certification, a hospital needs to achieve a score of 75 on a zero-to-100 scale, and only 133 hospitals have done so, but the EPA reports that 85% of the acute-care hospital market has used the program's Portfolio Manager online tool to benchmark energy use and as a guide to help make decisions on energy-management investments.
The EPA also reports that reducing energy use by 10% in the nation's hospitals would save 7.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, decrease the nation's $8.8 billion healthcare utility bill by about $740 million, and would reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to the annual electricity use of 712,000 homes.
The revised scale also counts staffed beds instead of licensed beds and uses reference data from 2008 collected in 2010 by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (the previous scale was based on 1997 data), said EPA spokeswoman Molly Hooven in an e-mail. A complete description of all the changes can be found on the Energy Star website.
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