SustainableNC: Spotlight on Atrium Health and Energy Management

Atrium Health, a key provider of healthcare and wellness programs throughout the Carolinas and Georgia, is making strides on energy reduction and energy management.

Atrium Health earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year Award two years in a row for 2018 and 2019. Between 2017 and 2018, Atrium Health earned ENERGY STAR certification on 10 facilities, including two of its largest acute care hospitals. Two additional facilities are currently pursuing certification.

In 2012, Atrium Health adopted an aggressive energy reduction goal of 20 percent in five years across the primary enterprise, which includes acute, rehab, and long-term care hospitals. The goal was achieved by the end of 2017 using ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager as the goal tracking tool. This goal is worth $10.2 million in energy cost savings over the five years and encompassed over six million square feet.

Also, part of this effort, in-person Basic Energy Connect Training was completed with 241 front-line operation teammates, educating them on the ENERGY STAR program, the certification process, and the energy use status of their facilities. These 130 teammates also attended eight additional hours of BAS training, and two Energy Performance Experts at each facility continue to train on advanced energy troubleshooting and fault analytics. This training is a part of the UNC Charlotte Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites team.

Enterprise Energy Management has been a focus of Atrium Health over the past seven years resulting in significant expense avoidance, dramatic environmental impact, and increased engagement around sustainability by the building occupants.  In 2017 alone, the annual energy expense avoidance created by the Enterprise Energy Management was enough to power three hospitals for free, saving Atrium Health $3.6 million a year.

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