Fine Print: Cutting Energy Costs at a Hospital

Tom Johnson | September 16, 2011 | Energy & Environment
St. Peter's University Hospital shaves $1 million a year off its energy costs

Who did it: St. Peter’s University Hospital

Why they did it: Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G) helped the hospital and its related facilities reduce energy costs by $1 million a year. The first phase of the project involved more than $4.8 million in energy efficiency improvements, which are currently being implemented at the hospital through the state’s largest utility hospital efficiency program. These include major upgrades to the cooling plant, adding high-efficiency motors and burners in the heating plant, and energy efficient light controls.

What else happened: The utility, through its Solar Loan Program, is funding 50 percent of the costs of a 2.1 megawatt solar system at sites around New Brunswick, the largest solar project yet built at a healthcare facility in New Jersey. The project involves six installations at various facilities in the city, including two rooftops and four parking lots.

Total expected savings from the solar system: The combined solar system is expected to save St. Peter’s approximately $10 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

Why people should take notice: PSE&G’s hospital program to cut facilities energy consumption has been one of the more popular programs approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU). It has helped hospitals reduce energy costs by funding $79 million in energy efficiency improvements at healthcare facilities, then requiring a payback on their utility bill at zero percent over 36 months.

What the future portends: The state Board of Public Utilities recently approved more than $50 million in additional funding to allow the utility to enroll even more hospitals in the program, which has a waiting list of applicants, according to utility officials.