Strategic energy management aids healthcare innovation
Energy manager Alex Hutton says strategic energy management – where energy efficiency is embedded at every level in an organization – has made it much easier to see options to reduce power usage and save money. The approach is employed by Energy Managers serving the healthcare facilities across the Lower Mainland.
Case in point: a heat recovery project at St. Paul's Hospital, involving a chiller (part of the cooling system) that was due to be replaced. Hutton and her team saw a chance for massive cost savings and a huge boost in energy efficiency, by incorporating some innovative technology.
"It uses electric equipment to reclaim 'waste' heat and re-directs it to where it's needed, so equipment turns on less, reducing the need for natural gas energy," she says. "It also lets us reduce our carbon emissions."
Hutton says strategic energy management played a fundamental role in spotting the opportunity, since it encourages strong relationships and communication between on-site maintenance staff, her team, and others involved in the design and implementation of new projects.
"Strategic energy management is 'whole picture thinking', and makes it possible to identify win-wins. Having the support of BC Hydro makes it much easier to involve the necessary stakeholders."
Alex Hutton, Energy Manager, Lower Mainland Facilities Management, Fraser Health