Energy Target-Setting

The target-setting approach to energy use most closely follows the AIA 2030 Commitment methodology, although it builds in a number of considerations unique to health care facilities.The targets are defined in terms of reductions in consumption of energy derived from fossil fuels.

Fossil fuel emissions are by far the largest source of emissions from hospitals, typically around 95 percent. Thus, if a health care facility reduces fossil fuel consumption, it reduces its emissions. Defining the targets in this way allows analysis of a facility's energy use to account for use of on-site renewable energy and utility company renewable supply sources, reductions in energy demand, and even renewable energy credits to help the facility realize its goals to reduce both energy and emissions. Assessing emissions based on how much of the energy a facility uses that comes from fossil fuels allows maximum flexibility to users at the same time it allows for real reductions in fossil fuel emissions.

Target-Setting Goals

The Roadmap has adjusted the timeline of the AIA 2030 Challenge, which requires carbon neutrality by 2030. While AHA recognizes the responsibility of the health care industry to reduce energy consumption from fossil fuels, its experts agree that 2050 is a more reasonable timeline for hospitals to achieve carbon neutrality, given their unique set of circumstances. However, this still is an aggressive goal for the health care industry.

Based on the results from a Think Tank convened by a large health system and a group of health care experts from around the world, the Roadmap target-setting energy tool identifies the following goals as achievable within the health care industry (these goals mirror those of scientists from the State of California and the United Nations):

  • Stop all increases of energy consumed from fossil fuels no later than 2015.
  • Drop energy consumed from fossil fuels to 40 percent below current levels by 2020.
  • Further decrease fossil fuel consumption to 80 percent below current levels by 2050.

Existing Buildings. The Roadmap target-setting tool for energy use is flexible so that users can choose to develop one of three sets of goals: a Basic, an Intermediate, or an Advanced level of performance. Accordingly, we have identified the Kaiser Permanente strategy goals outlined above as an Intermediate strategy and set the endpoint for this at 80 percent below a current Energy Star 50 Building. The baseline of a current Energy Star building with a rating of 50 represents the current average for similar buildings (type and size) in the same region. Carbon neutrality by 2050 is defined as the Advanced goal; some health care organizations already are on this path. Because the tool assumes a portfolio approach to the industry-and because the Advanced goal is 20 percent lower than the Intermediate goalï-we set the 2050 Basic endpoint at 20 percent less than the Intermediate goal, or 60 percent below current levels. The reductions are intended to be based on source energy, which leaves flexibility to include both on-site and off-site renewable energy strategies. The starting point for existing buildings is irrelevant as the tool assumes that all hospitals will need to journey toward one of the three proposed levels and, because the starting points will be different, so will the slopes.

New Buildings. With regard to new buildings, ASHE has formulated its energy goals through its Energy to Care program, which is aligned with the EPA Energy Star Program. The Energy Star program recognizes actual performance as opposed to theoretical performance of buildings. Experience has shown that energy models frequently fail to predict actual performance. If facility managers are going to invest time and resources in pursuit of a goal, the goal must be real and delivered, not theoretical.

The recent federal stimulus package aims to move all state energy codes to the 2004 edition of ASHRAE 90.1. Implementing these measures should result in an Energy Star rating of approximately 75. Thus, we have selected the requirement for design to Energy Star 75 as the Intermediate requirement for new hospital buildings. Several new hospitals are seeking very high energy performance using various innovative health care applications of energy technologies. These buildings are yielding designs with Energy Star ratings of approximately 90. Because our emphasis is on actual performance, ASHE set the highest level of building design at 85. For purposes of symmetry (and an assumption that such symmetry will better create the portfolio the sector requires), we have set the minimum performance level of new buildings to Energy Star 65.

Table 1 - ASHE Energy Target Goals


Approach 2010 2050
Existing Buildings Basic Current Energy Star rating 60 percent below Energy Star 50
Intermediate Current Energy Star rating 80 percent below Energy Star 50
Advanced Current Energy Star rating Carbon neutral
New Buildings Basic Energy Star 65 60 percent below Energy Star 50
Intermediate Energy Star 75 80 percent below Energy Star 50
Advanced Energy Star 85 Carbon neutral

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Energy Target-Setting Tool

The energy target-setting tool is designed to help calculate incremental reduction targets, based on the assumption of a linear reduction trend. However, reduction paths are not always linear so the incremental targets are intended to serve as a guide. Use this tool as a quick reference for incremental reduction targets that are necessary to progress toward the long-term 2050 goal.

Energy Reduction Targets

Instructions for using the Energy Target-Setting Tool:

  • Download the Energy Target-Setting Tool
  • Enroll in the EPA Portfolio Manager by using the Energy Star Benchmarking Starter Kit.
  • Enter your utility consumption data to determine your facility's Energy Star rating and �source energy usage intensity in kBTU/SF.
  • Determine the baseline energy usage intensity for similar facilities in your region by using Energy Star�s Target Finder Tool for a building with a target rating of 50. This is achieved by entering the following information:
    • Enter your zip code in Facility InformationFacility Information
    • Select your space type in Facility Characteristics. Facility Characteristics
    • For an acute care hospital, enter gross floor area, number of licensed beds, maximum number of floors, and if tertiary care is provided in the facility.
    • For a medical office building, enter gross floor area, number of workers, weekly operating hours, percentage cooled, and percentage heated. Facility Characteristics
    • Select a target rating of 50.The Target
    • Click View Results.
    • Record the source energy usage intensity in the Target Energy Performance Reultsand enter it into the energy target-setting tool for the baseline.Target Energy Performance Results
    • Pick a reduction path and record the energy reduction target over current consumption.Energy Reduction

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