Stories & Features

To cut costs, team up with those who know your building

Image of HOpe Centre
North Vancouver's Greta and Robert H.N. Ho Centre for Psychiatry and Education (HOpe Centre) helps people struggling with mental health and substance use challenges. Vancouver Coastal Health is using energy management to reduce energy consumption by 13% in its various facilities.

Collaboration with facilities staff pays off for Vancouver Coastal Health

Kori Jones has spent much of his career in health care retrofitting inefficient building systems. Along the way, he says, he has learned a lot about the ins-and-outs of energy management, but nothing more important than collaborating with on-site facilities teams.

"They're a web; they catch everything," says Jones. "No one knows our hospitals, rehab facilities and residential care centres better than our facilities maintenance and operations teams."

For 10 years now, energy management has been a part of Vancouver Coastal Health's strategic planning. Between 2008 and 2015, the health authority avoided a 13% increase in energy consumption, saving $11 million, thanks to a series of cost-cutting projects implemented by its energy management and facilities staff.

"Our facilities maintenance and operations teams are a big part of why we're on track to meet our corporate energy management goals," he says. "I consider them the backbone of our energy management program."

The targets: 15% reduction in energy use intensity, 25% drop in GHG emissions

By the year 2020, the health authority has committed to reducing its facilities energy use intensity by 15% and greenhouse gas emissions by 25%. A tall order, acknowledges Jones, but one he feels is within reach given the expertise on the ground.

Early on as energy manager, Jones worked to establish good relationships with facility managers, learning everything he could about each building's energy conservation potential. He made a point of meeting each facility manager in person, inviting their input.

He works a few days a month at each site so that he can attend facility team meetings and take questions about upcoming energy and emission reduction projects. "I want them to bring ideas forward," he says. "A lot of opportunities could get overlooked if we don't have an environment where speaking up is easy and encouraged."

Engaging employees in energy conservation can save thousands of dollars per year. To learn more about our employee engagement tools, contact the Business Help Desk: 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.