Healthcare organizations spend more than $6.5 billion on energy each year, and the industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing in our economy. Better Buildings Healthcare sector partners represent nearly 490 million square feet of space, collectively saving $240 million since 2011. These leading healthcare organizations are developing strategic cost reduction programs to improve the environment of care for patients, employees, and their communities.

Explore Tenant Engagement: Resources and Successful Strategies
Read about the role of energy efficiency in strengthening resilience: Energy-Resilience Nexus Fact Sheet
Join the Better Buildings Alliance

Team up with DOE’s exceptional network of staff and technical experts to determine energy savings goals, develop innovative cost effective energy solutions, and deploy efficient technologies and market practices.

2020 Better Buildings Progress Report

To date, the 950+ Better Buildings partners have saved nearly 1.8 quadrillion Btus, achieving more than $11 billion in energy and cost savings.

COVID-19 Resource Center

Dealing with COVID-19 presents an unprecedented scenario for building owners, plant managers, and employees. Better Buildings has collected resources from partners, affiliates, and other organizations that may prove useful.

Featured Solutions

This toolkit aggregates resources to provide guidance tailored to the Healthcare sector for efficient water management while maintaining control of infection. A variety of assessment and resources are available in this toolkit for those interested in developing strategies around water management that are separate from energy management.
Gundersen Health's Sparta Clinic consumes half the energy than the average outpatient medical clinic due to its low-energy design that targets energy efficiency and integration of renewables. As of 2018, the solar photovoltaic panels have produced more energy than the building has consumed establishing the clinic as an energy independent facility.
University Hospital Showcase Project
UW Health saw an opportunity to curb University Hospital’s energy intensity through retro-commissioning after a successful 2012 project on their largest outpatient clinic yielded a 1-year payback.
Legacy Health enrolled in Energy Trust of Oregon’s commercial Strategic Energy Management (SEM) Initiative for assistance in establishing a culture around energy savings at its facilities.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center with its clinical partner Nebraska Medicine launched the LiveGreen Ambassadors Program, an employee engagement structure for volunteers passionate about incorporating sustainability into their role and department, to increase engagement and reach their ambitious net zero emissions, waste, and water goals by 2030.
Mayo Clinic’s energy management guidelines include new construction and renovation energy use intensity targets using energy modeling and analysis, operations energy management strategies, and staff engagement procedures. Together these measures resulted in $4 million in total energy savings and a 20 percent total energy reduction. 
The University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) partnered with the American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) to host an Energy to Care Treasure Hunt and identify energy saving opportunities across UMMC's portfolio. The teams found $2.1 million in potential savings and engaged with executive leadership to roll out capital expenditure energy efficiency projects.

Other Resources

Case Studies

Madera Community Hospital worked with an energy service company (ESCO) to complete energy efficiency upgrades and select a partner to maintain a solar PV array under a 20-year PPA with the hospital.    
North Shore-LIJ HS, recognizing that its healthcare facilities consume large amounts of energy because of how they operate and the complex technologies that are necessary to treat its patients, installed a 50 kilowatt solar PV array on the roof of its Materials Management Building.
CHRISTUS Health cut lighting energy use 61% at St. Michael Hospital when they replaced fluorescent lamps with LEDs.
Kaiser Permanente received national recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy for exemplary energy performance using an FDD for a portfolio. Kaiser Permanente set a new vision for how they use energy at their facilities nationwide – to achieve...


This document provides guidance for implementing Solar PV in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Implementation Models

The University of Utah implemented an internal Green Revolving Fund to allocate savings from current energy efficiency projects to invest in future projects, saving the university $1.6 million on energy costs since its inception.
Ascension dedicates an annual budget from their Facilities Infrastructure Pool for energy efficiency upgrades at its hospitals to overcome the “first-cost” hurdle or insufficient access to capital, resulting in energy and cost savings.
Cleveland Clinic Foundation ramped-up energy and water efficiency in operating rooms through employee engagement, targeted calls to action, and resource tracking resulting in heightened staff awareness and measurable savings.
UPMC created an Energy Management and Engineering Department with an annual energy budget to prioritize efficiency improvements to reduce energy use, costs, and emissions.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital launched a retro-commissioning program that blends energy management with improving the quality of patient care for a holistic approach that engages all hospital staff and has resulted in energy and cost savings year-over-year.


Hospitals face an especially challenging energy problem – how to operate 24/7 in a strict control environment for lighting and HVAC? One way to manage usage is through EMIS, a broad family of tools and services. Learn how two hospital projects successfully controlled their complex buildings through the use of data analytics and monitoring based commissioning.
Learn from hospital CFOs who have made significant and replicable investment in energy projects. The CFOs review energy investment strategies and their approaches to bringing financial, environmental, and social aspects of energy alterations to the forefront of fiscal operations of healthcare facilities.
Learn how Gundersen Health system improved energy efficiency by 25 percent and saved $5.5 million annually as well as best practices from the Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) program. This presentation will help you identify the project teams, resources, and activities needed to improve energy efficiency.
Healthcare Meet-Up 2017 Better Buildings Summit
This provided the opportunity for healthcare partners to connect and converse with peers, sharing accomplishments and challenges in a candid format. Attendees  participated in open discussions on topics such as working with their utility, integrating renewable energy, and addressing water efficiency.
This session explored strategies to impart hard-won knowledge to the next generation of employees ensuring that lessons learned by existing energy managers are known by those coming up the ranks.
Implementing Energy Management Systems 2017 Better Buildings Summit
DOE has launched the Guide for Energy Management, which assists interested parties in creating an EnMS. Panelists discussed the benefits, challenges, and lessons learned when implementing an EnMS at their organizations.
Healthcare Meet-Up 2019 Better Buildings Summit
Healthcare sector partners at this meet-up discussed sector priorities, reviewed progress so far, and workshopped new ideas for the 2019-2020 year.


DOE commissioned NREL to partner with two hospitals (MGH and SUNY UMU) to collect data on the energy used for multiple thermal and electrical end-use categories.
This framework can be used as a first orienting step; it does not detail specific technology features, but instead provides a high-level overview of primary applications within each category.

Showcase Projects

Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas is a member of the Seton Healthcare Family. It is the only dedicated freestanding pediatric facility in the region and the only Level I Pediatric Trauma Center in a 46-county area.
National Cancer Institute Showcase Project
The project management team utilized building information modeling (BIM), an integral tool for designers and construction contractors, allowing coordination of critical base building systems and tenant space build out requirements in advance of any construction to avoid system redundancy and ensure maximum efficiency.
Saint Thomas Hospital Showcase Project
Saint Thomas Hospital implemented a mix of both low cost behavior change measures, and large-scale infrastructure projects, to obtain significant energy savings.
Sanford-Kimpton Building Showcase Project
The Sanford-Kimpton Building, housing the Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department, implemented energy conservation measures (ECMs) that had the potential to save the City money on utility costs but also to improve the comfort of employees and visitors to the Health department.
Sunny Hill Nursing Home Showcase Project
This 238 bed, 131,400 square foot skilled nursing facility provides services 24 hours per day, seven days per week to support the County’s rapidly growing geriatric population. Comprehensive facility improvements were needed to modernize the facility while continuing to provide services to its residents. Projects were implemented in three phases from 2010 through 2016.
Hackensack Meridian Health anticipates a 20% energy savings at the Medical Plaza ambulatory care facility due to a Building Automation System (BAS) upgrade, chiller plant optimization,campus-wide steam plant replacement, and strategical local utility partnership. 
Cleveland Clinic's Twinsburg Family Health and Surgery Center implemented several low-cost and no-cost energy conservation measures to ensure the building met LEED Gold certification expected performance.
Leveraging the partnership with Alabama Power, USA Medical Center implemented a variety of efficiency measures across the medical campus that benefited the bottom line, improved overall energy and water efficiency, and maintained or improved patient and staff comfort.
With prioritization of energy conservation initiatives and projects through a centralized action plan with engagement across all departments, leaders at Hillcrest Hospital have mobilized caregivers into hundreds of teams to think and act anew about making patient care more affordable.

Solution at a Glance

In a single summer, UW Health saved $9,000 on utilities and earned $22,000 in incentives by participating in a utility-led program that offered incentives for reducing peak energy usage coupled with free energy dashboards providing real-time energy usage data.


View this webinar to learn about ways to persuasively present lighting efficiency projects to different audiences in your organization, including management, human resources, and clinicians.
This Better Buildings Alliance healthcare sector peer exchange had ASHRAE expert Jeff Boldt explain recent changes in ASHRAE Standard 170-2013, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities. Alliance members Cleveland Clinic Foundation and New York Presbyterian Hospital also presented case studies on successful implementation of HVAC setbacks.
The Better Buildings Challenge supports commercial and industrial building owners by providing technical assistance and proven solutions to energy efficiency. Hear from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, a Better Buildings Challenge partner.
Zero energy buildings combine energy efficiency and renewable energy generation to consume only as much energy as can be produced onsite through renewable resources.
This webinar describes how the DOE helps move energy efficiency opportunities in buildings from ideas to mass-market uptake by identifying and developing high impact technologies.


Have you dreamed of having broad support internally for energy efficiency projects? This webinar highlighted ways to persuasively present lighting efficiency projects to different audiences in your organization, including management, human resources, and clinicians.
This Better Buildings Alliance healthcare sector peer exchange had ASHRAE expert Jeff Boldt explain changes in ASHRAE Standard 170-2013, Ventilation of Health Care Facilities.

Additional Information

Featured on the Beat Blog

Additional Resources

ASHE's (American Society for Healthcare Engineering) Energy to Care Treasure Hunts
Uncover significant energy savings through an Energy to Care Treasure Hunt - a 1-3 day event hosted by ASHE bringing together health care facilities professionals ona  quest to discover low-cost energy savings opportunities.

ASHE Environmental Sustainability in Hospitals: The Value of Efficiency
This guide helps hospital facility managers explore options and understand the steps needed to harness the strategic power of sustainability.

ASHRAE Health Care Facilities Resources
Review these guides and publications to reduce energy use at your hospital.

ASHE Health Care Facility Management Fundamentals
Attend a two-day workshop for health care facility managers on the impact of the physical environment on patient outcomes and satisfaction.  

ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Hospital and Healthcare Facilities
Developed by the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in conjunction with the Better Buildings Alliance for small hospitals and healthcare facilities up to 90,000 sq. ft. in size.

ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals
Developed by the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in conjunction with the Better Buildings Alliance for standard mid- to large-size hospitals, typically at least 100,000 sq. ft in size.

ASHE Sustainability Roadmap for Hospitals – A Guide to Achieving Your Sustainability Goals
Developed by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), the Association for the Healthcare Environment (AHE), and the Association for Healthcare Resource & Materials Management (AHRMM) to address challenges to integrating sustainable practices into the healthcare environment. Offers resources on Developing a Water Management Plan and Getting Leadership Support.

Healthcare Fact Sheet
An ENERGY STAR resource to help healthcare industry members lower their operating costs and reinvest savings in patient care.

Health Care Climate Council Climate Action: A Playbook for Hospitals
This interactive tool developed by the Health Care Climate Council visually demonstrates climate impacts across a hospital and highlights examples of council memebers' solutions that are improving climate and health while saving money too. 

Health Care Without Harm Report "Health Care & Climate Change: An Opportunity for Transformative Leadership"
This Healthcare Without Harm report offers detailed guidelines and case studies to help hospital leaders and facilities’ staff develop comprehensive strategies for energy efficiency and clean technology. Data from new and retrofitted hospitals demonstrate that energy savings of 30 to 50 percent are often readily achievable and that these projects are highly cost effective.

NREL REopt Lite™ web tool
The REopt Lite™ web tool evaluates the economics of grid connected photovoltaics (PV), wind, and battery storage at a site. It allows users to identify the system sizes and battery dispatch strategy that minimize a site’s life cycle cost of energy, and it estimates the amount of time a PV, wind, battery, and diesel generator system can sustain the site’s critical load during a grid outage.

U.S. DOE EERE Commercial Buildings Resource Database
The database provides resources developed by the Building Technologies Office and its partners. Building owners and operators can use this centralized collection of materials produced from DOE's commercial buildings research to design, build, and upgrade their facilities.

U.S. EPA Guidelines for Energy Management
A proven strategy for energy management developed by the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program.

U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Healthcare Tools and Resources
ENERGY STAR resources for compiling best practices and guides for improving energy efficiency in your healthcare facility.

ASHRAE Zero Energy Design Guides

The Better Buildings Alliance Healthcare Steering Committee helps to set priorities for Alliance work in the sector each year. This year, sector activities focus on the following priorities:

  • Demonstrate energy efficiency and zero energy-ready design as strategies for energy resilience planning
  • Support energy efficiency as a priority within shifts in healthcare services and a changing model of care
  • Develop and share successful communication strategies for obtaining high-level buy-in for pursuing energy efficiency projects

Steering Committee Members

  • Edna Lorenz, Beaumont Health System (Chair)
  • Corey Zarecki, Gundersen Health System
  • Darren Dageforde, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)
  • James Symanski, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs 
  • Jon Utech, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Kara Brooks, American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE)
  • Kirby Brendsel, Welltower 
  • Kyle Tafuri, Hackensack Meridian Health
  • Mary Statz, UW Health
  • Pat Lydon, Legacy Health
  • Richie Stever, University of Maryland Medical Center

ASHRAE Zero Energy Design Guides

Meet the Sector Committee Chair