Since 2004, Providence Health & Services has invested more than $10 million in energy upgrades at 27 new and existing Oregon facilities, resulting in combined annual electricity savings of 10.6 million kilowatt hours and 230,000 therms of natural gas.
“Providence is leading the health care industry, both here in Oregon and across the country, in showing what can be accomplished through energy efficiency,” said Margie Harris, executive director of Energy Trust, which supported the projects with incentives of more than $1 million and recently gave Providence an Energy Leadership Award. “Whether it’s building Providence Newberg Hospital, the first LEED certified hospital in the United States, or making facility lighting systems as energy efficient as they can be, Providence is leaving no stone unturned as they pursue cost-effective savings. Providence shows that investing in energy upgrades improves the bottom line and protects Oregon’s environment.”
The regional health care system began implementing an energy wellness program at its facilities in 1995, taking advantage of Energy Trust incentives and state energy tax credits to make their investment as cost effective as possible. “Now that we have captured savings from the low-hanging fruit, such as lighting and other measures, we are going deeper and taking advantage of new technology to create state-of-the-art facilities,” said Richard Beam, director, Energy Management Service, Providence Health & Services.
An example of taking the next step is the central utility plant at Providence Portland Medical Center in Portland. Hospitals and other health care facilities have special demands and code requirements for air change, pressurization and air filtration systems. The construction of a new 11-story, 500,000 square-foot cancer center at the hospital created the need and opportunity to rebuild the facility’s central utility plant that manages the energy consumption of the entire campus. Providence upgraded or replaced heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, creating a facility that is saving 2.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 153,000 therms of natural gas each year. The facility also provides backup power to the Portland General Electric (PGE) grid through a contract with the utility’s Dispatchable Standby Generation program.
Providence also has a clean diesel zone to reduce emissions from vendor-owned vehicles on all its campuses.