WASHINGTON - Making a public commitment to improve energy efficiency in hospitals by 10 percent, the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) of the American Hospital Association (AHA) announced that it is joining the Energy Star Challenge. ASHE is launching a two-year campaign, E2C, to educate its members about the economic and environmental benefits of pursuing energy efficiency improvements in health care facilities.

"It is encouraging to see that those who care for our health are also concerned with the health of our environment," said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "With the help of leaders like ASHE, President Bush and EPA are proving that getting the most out of our energy dollars through Energy Star just makes sense."

Energy Star is a government-backed program helping businesses and consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. More than 8,000 organizations partner with EPA in the Energy Star program. In 2005 alone, said EPA, Americans with the help of Energy Star saved about $12 billion and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 23 million vehicles.

As a participant in the challenge, ASHE is agreeing to:

  • Identify hospitals with successful energy programs;

  • Develop case studies of their energy management methods;

  • Produce an energy efficiency section on ashe.org;

  • Develop a chapter focused energy program; and

  • Recognize members for energy efficiency improvements of 10 percent or more.

    ASHE estimates that in the first year of the campaign, members will save more than $65 million on energy costs while helping to protect the environment by preventing nearly 3 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.

    ASHE will recognize members based on their self-reporting of energy efficiency improvements using EPA's national energy performance rating system that rates a building's energy efficiency, on a scale of 1 to 100, relative to similar buildings across the country. Buildings with lower ratings are typically good candidates for improvement, as the low rating reflects an important operational issue or outdated technology. The rating system is available for hospitals, medical office buildings, schools, and hotels, among others.

    For more information on the Energy Star Challenge, visit www.energystar.gov/challenge.

    Publication date: 07/24/2006