Large hospitals consume an outsized amount of energy compared to other buildings in the United States, and are therefore a potential target for cost-savings, according to a new survey from the U.S. Energy Information Agency .
The EIA survey concluded that although large hospitals comprised less than 1 percent of all commercial buildings nationwide and less than 2 percent of all commercial floorspace, they consumed more than 4 percent of all the energy used by the commercial sector in 2003.
Moreover, that consumption has increased to 5.5 percent of all commercial uses, according to Forbes.
However, many hospitals say they have some form of energy conservation program in place, whether overt or indirect. For instance, nearly 90 percent of hospitals say they have some form of lighting conservation in place, and about 85 percent use multi-layer glass in their windows, according to the survey.
For those hospitals that actively embrace conservation programs, the potential cost reductions are dramatic. The University of California-Davis Health System saved about $400,000 during the first year of an environmental initiative, while Kaiser Permanente is saving about $26 million a year through environmentally-conscious purchasing programs.