Grumman/Butkus Associates, a firm of energy efficiency consultants and engineers, has released the results of its 2014 Hospital Energy and Water Benchmarking Survey, focusing on healthcare facilities’ resource usage trends and costs for calendar year 2013.
Since the survey was initiated 20 years ago, hospitals’ overall electricity use hasn’t declined, the study finds. Electrical energy reduction measures such as lighting retrofits are being offset by the introduction of more electronic imaging equipment and fully digital recordkeeping.
The average combined Btu/ft2 for facilities in the survey (electricity plus gas/steam) was 248,456, at a cost of $3.27/ft2, compared with 235,731 Btu/f2 and $3.09/ft2 in the 2013 survey (2012 data). Harsh Midwestern winter weather patterns undoubtedly had an adverse effect on energy consumption for hospitals participating in the 2014 survey.
Rising electricity costs have had the heaviest influence on rising energy costs over the past decade. In general, electrical costs have leveled out since 2008 for survey participants, with a slight decrease in 2012, and a slight increase in 2013. Conversely, natural gas costs have fallen steadily since peaking in 2008.