Energy Efficiency Guide for Colorado Businesses
Recommendations by Sector
Hospitals have high energy use per unit of floor area and high energy bills, but a number of technologies can be employed to lower them significantly. Hospitals have office spaces and a number of facilities that are open 24 hours per day. Because of the risk of microbial contamination, high ventilation rates with 100 percent fresh air are required. Accordingly, hospitals are dominated by HVAC energy use (45%), but they also consume a lot of electricity to light 24-hour areas (25%). Most also have significant process loads for sterilization, laundering, and cooking. With plug loads, these total 30% in typical facilities.
Measures that are frequently found to be cost-effective include the following:
- Recover heat from central plant equipment by installing heat-recovery coils in the exhaust air handlers to capture waste energy without the risk of contamination.
- Recover waste heat from exhaust stacks of boilers to preheat boiler makeup water or combustion air.
- Recover heat from sterilization equipment, laundries, dishwashers, and cleaning equipment to pre-heat fresh hot water.
- Install a waterside economizer for nighttime cooling.
- Downsize to a new high-efficiency chiller in conjunction with lighting and other retrofits.
- Use condensing boilers with large turn-down ratios whose efficiencies improve with turn-down.
- Switch over to direct digital controls.
- Install variable air volume air handling systems with variable speed drives.
- Install premium-efficiency motors.
- Install demand-controlled ventilation.
- Ventilate garages in response to environmental conditions.
- Upgrade the energy management system. Optimize settings to reflect usage, respond to changing weather patterns, and control peak electric loads. Lights and air conditioning in spaces occupied only during business hours are often left on all the time. The energy management system can automatically shut off lighting and set back HVAC systems in spaces occupied only during the daytime. A combination of occupancy sensors and time switches can accommodate people who arrive early or stay after the end of the business day.
- Continuously commission the building.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP) System
- Install a combined heat and power generation system to supply electricity, heating needs, and (through an absorption chiller) cooling needs. When properly sized and designed, such a system can save substantial money and avoid the large thermal losses associated with conventional power generation at utility plants.
- Install compact fluorescent bulbs in place of incandescents in hospital rooms, halls, and elevators.
- Install energy-efficient lighting in all other spaces, being sure to replace T-12 fixtures with T-8 or T-5 fixtures with electronic ballasts.
- Install and calibrate automatic lighting controls in conjunction with skylights and clerestories in open areas to dim lights in response to daylight.
- Install LED exit signs.
- Upgrade parking lot lighting to save energy and reduce environmental impacts due to light spillage.
- Upgrade garage parking lighting.
- Install high-efficiency, specularly-selective glazing carefully chosen for sun exposure on each facade and other variables.
- Install interior or exterior shading devices.
- Install insulation in strategic locations.
- Undertake air sealing, including duct work.
- Install an ENERGY STAR cool roof.
- Use low-energy sleep functions on computers, printers, and copiers.
- Choose ENERGY STAR office equipment and appliances.
- Install Vending Miser on vending machines.
- Ensure building maintenance and cleaning staff are enthusiastic about savings and adopt work habits that support energy efficiency.
- Ensure that key maintenance people are properly trained in the use of the facility's energy management system.
- Involve all employees in energy savings efforts, provide efficiency education for work and home, and encourage employee suggestions on energy savings opportunities.
Funding for this Guide provided by:
Recommendations for this and other sectors are available at www.coloradoefficiencyguide.com/recommendations.