Three Components of an Effective Energy Management Strategy for Health Care Facilities
Establishing an effective energy management strategy isn’t as easy as waving a wand. Constellation has close working relationships with numerous health care organizations, and in our experience, we see three ‘best practice’ components that need to work together for success:
- Risk Management
- Environmental Sustainability
Let’s examine each factor in more detail and how they interrelate to drive your energy strategy.
Risk management can be looked at as proactively managing costs now and into the future. Leveraging market expertise, monitoring and reporting to help move energy purchasing to a value-based opportunity, like investing, can pay significant dividends within your overall energy strategy.
Developing a customized power and natural gas purchasing strategy that takes advantage of energy market volatility can provide significant risk management. In fact, recent research and analysis from Constellation indicated power pricing swings up to $22 per MWh, depending on how and when companies purchase supply. Unique purchase and billing options can provide cost savings and help you meet budget goals.
Efficiency is the process of effectively reducing consumption and thereby overall spend. This can take the form of lowering usage through curtailment programs, increasing building efficiency through investment and regularly monitoring demand. You may consider the following options within your plan.
- Investigating projects such as retrofitting inefficient lighting, ensuring all equipment is functioning properly, investing in energy-efficient motors and tracking energy performance to drive energy savings
- Auditing your facility and adding energy efficiency upgrades, and emerging tech programs—examples include electric vehicle charging and deploying electric transportation options, which simultaneously reduce carbon emissions, costs from fuel and maintenance, and ensure safe reliable transit for travelers
- Integrating renewables (e.g., RECs, wind, solar) into your generation mix
How do you source all your energy components noted above? Efficiency in the energy purchasing process is critical—health care organizations need to always be on the lookout for opportunities within the current market to leverage beneficial purchasing opportunities and have a team in place to help you along the way.
Environmental sustainability is a phrase we hear and discuss a lot, but what does it mean? Basically, it is the maintenance of the factors and practices that contribute to the quality of the environment on a long-term basis. It means being able to meet corporate efficiency goals through renewable energy solutions, reducing energy consumption to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint. Overall it’s a plan in which the demands placed on the environment can be met without reducing its capacity to allow all people to live well, now and in the future.
Several issues in sustainability are emerging as key components in a global initiative to hold corporations socially—and if possible financially—responsible for their actions and inactions. Environmental sustainability generally addresses how the needs of the present can be met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs, with an emphasis on protection of natural resources and the environment. Sustainable development considers social, economic, environmental and natural resource issues potentially affected by business. To us, sustainability is being able to meet corporate efficiency goals through solutions including renewable energy and related initiatives.
In summary, it’s important to consider all the factors—not just energy supply but capital investment and sustainability—in having an effective energy management strategy. Just as important is having the right energy supplier helping you navigate the pieces to educate and provide the most benefit based on your overall organization’s strategy.
Guest Author: Andrew Singer, Vice President, East – Retail C&I Sales
Andrew is responsible for developing and executing Constellation’s strategy to provide integrated energy solutions that help major commercial and industrial corporations, federal agencies and trade associations buy, manage and use energy. From electricity and natural gas procurement to renewable generation and conservation, he provides expert advice to two-thirds of all Fortune 100 companies on how to solve and manage their complex energy-related issues and optimize their budgets. With over 20 years of his career at Constellation and its predecessor companies, Andrew has developed a unique view on the evolution of the energy marketplace and how various entities have been responding to these changes, from the deregulation of markets to the adoption of disruptive energy technologies.