LaSalle General Hospital in East Central Louisiana is embarking on infrastructure improvements that will help the healthcare facility ensure high levels of compliance and operational efficiency while reducing operational costs by an estimated $200,000 annually. The improvement measures include replacing water management fixtures, a water heating system, and steam boilers, as well as air handling units and related controllers.
The facility’s lighting will also be upgraded to include occupancy sensors and a night setback energy management system.
Combined, the measures will help reduce overall water and energy usage, while also reducing associated natural resource use and operational costs by about $200,000 per year over the next 15 years.
The improvements are being made through a $2 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC) with Siemens, which will use its Total Energy Management approach. This approach includes ongoing analysis of the facility’s systems, in addition to the infrastructure improvements. As a result of the ESPC, the hospital received a grant of more than $630,000 through the Louisiana Public Service Commission Statewide Energy Efficiency Program.
Waning Water Use but Rising Costs
Water- and energy-saving measures are important to hospitals as they struggle to improve efficiencies in the face of rising costs.
In fact, though hospital water and sewer use is gradually declining – now averaging about 48 gallons per square foot per year, compared with nearly 70 gallons per square foot a decade ago – hospitals are not saving as much money as they are water, according to a report published last winter from Grumman/Butkus Associates.
Price hikes not only reflect increasing costs to extract and treat the water, but also the fact that cash-strapped governmental entities may view water as a revenue source, the energy efficiency consulting and sustainable design firm says.