Energy Efficiency Advice for Healthcare Establishments

01 November 2023

Back to insights and resources

Energy Efficiency Advice for Healthcare Establishments

In healthcare, more than perhaps any other sector, every penny counts so that the pounds can be spent on ensuring the best possible care for patients. Some financial corners are impossible to cut in healthcare, but savings made through energy efficiency can help to relieve pressures.

Having a robust carbon and energy management policy should be your first step in approaching any concerns around energy. This can help you to identify the areas that are not just unique to the healthcare sector but to your facility, your location, and the care that you provide.

Energy usage within the health sector focuses on lifesaving equipment that use large amounts of energy , meaning that it is essential that healthcare facilities think more deeply and ensure that energy is not only affordable but reliable. By investing in dependable sources of backup, such as generators, even a localised power cut cannot stop care from being delivered to patients.

In this blog, we’ll explore energy concerns unique to the healthcare sector and how to address them.

Areas of Concern for the Healthcare Sector

Just because some options are more limited than in other sectors, that doesn’t mean that energy and money-saving measures are non-existent in healthcare. The options listed below offer easy wins for decision-makers in the health sector.

Lighting Control in Unused Areas
One of the most straightforward ways to improve energy efficiency in healthcare facilities is through more effective lighting control. While dimming lights in unused areas is a common way to reduce energy usage, it isn’t as effective as implementing automatic light switch-off systems. These systems use motion sensors to detect when a room is unoccupied and switch off the lights, reducing unnecessary energy consumption by not lighting up a room that no one is in.

Environmental Management System (EMS)
Implementing an Environmental Management System allows healthcare facilities to track and manage their energy use more effectively. These systems provide data in real-time on energy consumption and allow for the adjustment of settings to reduce energy waste. An EMS can help procurement managers make decisions driven by real-time data to enhance energy efficiency.

Ensure Healthcare Equipment is Up-to-date and Energy-Efficient
Obsolete medical equipment often consumes more energy than newer, energy-efficient models. While investing in modern, energy efficient equipment is the obvious way to reduce energy consumption, it’s not always possible due to cost. Other ways to help manage equipment energy usage include making sure unused equipment is being switched off or placed in standby mode.

Additionally, smart meters can support with the overall identification of energy usage and monitoring. This provides you with greater control thanks to greater data insight allowing for the ability to spot patters in usage, like which equipment might be most inefficient, and can support behavioural change.

Smart Heating
As with most businesses and places of work, the highest culprit for energy consumption is the heating and cooling of the building. However, in the healthcare sector, this can risk the health and wellbeing of patients meaning that the generic advice of turning the thermostat down by a degree simply won’t cut it.

In a similar fashion to optimising lighting options, improving heating systems in healthcare facilities is another effective strategy for improving energy efficiency. Smart heating solutions, such as programmable thermostats and zonal heating, allow precise control of temperature, ensuring that energy is not wasted heating unoccupied spaces.


Renewable Energy

In the pursuit of Net Zero, healthcare facilities can lead the way by exploring renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines. Integrating renewable energy not only reduces your carbon footprint but also helps secure a long-term and sustainable energy supply. These initiatives align with 'Health Technical Memorandum 07-02: EnCO2de 2015 – making energy work in healthcare,' which provides essential guidance on responsible energy use in healthcare facilities in England.


LED Lighting and Sensors

Switching to LED lighting is a simple and highly effective way to save energy. LED lights are not only more energy-efficient but also have a longer lifespan, reducing maintenance and replacement costs. When combined with motion sensors, lights can automatically turn off when spaces are unoccupied, further reducing energy consumption.


Combined Heat and Power (CPH)

Combined Heat and Power (CPH) systems, also known as cogeneration, allow healthcare facilities to produce their electricity and heat simultaneously. This highly efficient approach can significantly reduce energy waste, making it an ideal choice for energy-conscious healthcare facilities while also keeping carbon targets in mind.


Regular Building Maintenance and Insulation Checks

Regular maintenance and insulation checks are crucial for preventing energy loss through leaks and inefficiencies in the building envelope. The main culprits are things like poor seals on windows and doors, meaning that heat is wasted by escaping into unintended spaces. Addressing these issues can lead to substantial energy savings, improved patient comfort, and enhanced energy efficiency.


Energy usage is at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the minute, whether from a financial or environmental standpoint, but with the advice, knowledge and tools listed above, you can begin to make small changes that can have a massive impact on your bottom line.

SEFE Energy is one of the UK’s leading business energy suppliers, helping thousands of businesses manage their gas and electricity contracts. To find out more about what we can offer your business, visit the homepage or call us today on 0161 837 3395.

opens in new window