Healthcare facilities are the third most energy-intensive facility type in the United States, spending more than $9.7 billion on energy every year. In total, the sector constitutes 4 billion square feet of floorspace. Better Buildings Alliance Healthcare sector partners represent nearly 560 million square feet of space, or 13% of the total market in the United States. These leading healthcare organizations are developing strategic cost reduction programs to improve the environment of care for patients, employees and their communities.

Connect With The Interior Lighting Campaign: Save On Lighting Energy Costs
Overcome Upfront Project Costs: With Energy Efficiency Financing Resources
Better Buildings Alliance Open House Webinar: Watch Now
Explore Tenant Engagement: Resources and Successful Strategies
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.

Partner List

Through the Better Buildings Alliance, over 200 public and private sector organizations across the country are working together to share and replicate positive gains in energy efficiency. 

Register for the 2018 Summit

The 2018 Better Buildings Summit will be held with DOE’s annual Energy Exchange in Cleveland, Ohio on August 21-23. Don't miss the largest and most exciting DOE training, trade show, and peer event of the year!

Featured Solutions

In search of a financing option with minimal capital investment by the hospital, HackensackUMC entered a strategic partnership with its utility company, who offers a Hospital Efficiency Program that allocates upfront funding for hospitals to implement energy efficiency projects. 
Welltower, Inc developed a proprietary internal Green Arrow Building Certification (GABC) program that measures energy, water, waste, indoor air quality, and innovation. Most properties have seen a 1-12% energy use reduction. In 2016, GABC scores improved 22.5% and 29 additional buildings were certified.
In this session, healthcare and hospitality partners shared cross-applicable solutions, including ways to engage employees and exciting technologies to keep guests or patients warm, cool, and well-lit.
Better Buildings Alliance partners shared how they reduced plug load energy use in their multi-tenant and higher education buildings using hardware, software, and behavioral messaging.
Cleveland Clinic announced at the 2016 Better Buildings Summit that it had established an unprecedented $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund to strengthen its commitment to energy efficiency. The fund stands out as one of the largest annual commitments in any U.S. business sector and as the largest for healthcare.
To overcome the impending retirement of many skilled-trades workers and the need for a new generation of trained professionals that is familiar with modern, energy-efficient technology, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) developed its own Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Program, accredited by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
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.

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.
Cleveland Clinic announced at the 2016 Better Buildings Summit that it had established an unprecedented $7.5 million Green Revolving Fund to strengthen its commitment to energy efficiency. The fund stands out as one of the largest annual commitments in any U.S. business sector and as the largest for healthcare.


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

Implementation Models

Internal Green Revolving Fund Implementation Model
The University of Utah implemented an internal Green Revolving Fund (GRF) to allocate savings from current energy efficiency projects to invest in future energy efficiency projects.
Facilities Infrastructure Pool Implementation Model
Ascension dedicates an annual budget for energy efficiency upgrades at its hospitals to overcome the “first-cost” hurdle or insufficient access to capital.
Cleveland Clinic Foundation ramped-up energy and water efficiency in operating rooms through staff engagement, targeted calls to action, and resource tracking.
UPMC created an Energy Management and Engineering Department with a targeted skillset and a dedicated annual budget for energy efficiency improvements.
Gallery Walks Implementation Model
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.


Healthcare Sector Meet-Up 2015 Better Buildings Summit
This session will feature presentations on energy independence and zero energy construction in the healthcare sector.
New models are emerging for ensuring that the performance of existing building energy retrofits meet Watts per square feet requirements. Learn the ins and outs of these strategies from colleagues in the energy trenches.
This presentation focused on ways to connect sustainability to federally supported research. This has the dual benefit of reducing the environmental footprint of research and maximizing the effective use of federal dollars.
Strengthening Resiliency with Clean Energy 2015 Better Buildings Summit
Learn how cities, states, campuses, and businesses are strengthening the climate resiliency of their communities and operations by harnessing energy efficiency, renewable energy, and district energy systems.
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.


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.
Medical Plaza Showcase Project
Hackensack University Medical Center 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.
Hillcrest Hospital Showcase Project
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

UW Health enrolled in Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy On Demand Savings pilot program which offered Madison Gas and Electric commercial customers tools to reduce electric load through their Building Automation Systems (BAS) during peak load summer months.


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.
Learn how you can achieve both energy and water savings in an industrial or commercial setting, and how one often follows the other.


Have you dreamed of having broad support internally for energy efficiency projects? 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.

Additional Information

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

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 Getting Leadership Support.

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.

ASHE's (American Society for Healthcare Engineering) Energy to Care
Energy to Care is a free energy benchmarking and awards program for health care facility management professionals who want to provide value back to their organizations through energy savings. It gives users the opportunity to compare their energy reduction efforts to those of similar nearby facilities and to challenge each other to greater achievements. By achieving greater energy savings, hospitals can free up resources to support the organization’s mission of providing patients with the best care. The Energy to Care program also includes Awards that recognize hospitals for their energy efficiency achievements.

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.

Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE)
A comprehensive database of incentives, rebates and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States.

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) BetterBricks
NEEA’s repository of resources and tools for improving the operations and performance of buildings, including the Hospital Facility Investment Guide.

Join the Billion Dollar Green Challenge
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge encourages nonprofits such as colleges, universities, and most recently hospital systems to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self-managed green revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements.

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.

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.  

U.S. DOE EERE ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard
A proven approach for U.S. industrial and commercial facilities to continually improve energy performance. This powerful new standard from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) provides an internationally recognized framework for organizations to voluntarily implement an energy management system.

U.S. DOE EERE Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) were created to help decision makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. Guides are available for office buildings, warehouses and retail buildings.

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.

ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides
Created by ASHRAE and its partners, the Advanced Energy Design Guides for 50% Savings offer designers and contractors the tools needed for achieving a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1-2004.

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.

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. 


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:

  • Improve water management and efficiency 
  • Build and educate a skilled workforce on energy and water efficient operations and standard operating proceduress
  • Showcase and encourage internal engagement on sustainability


Steering Committee Members

  • Ken Hansen, University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) (Co-Chair)
  • Richie Stever, University of Maryland Medical Center (Co-Chair)
  • Pat Lydon, Legacy Health
  • Shea Jameel, Welltower
  • Edna Lorenz, Beaumont Health System
  • Kyle Tafuri, Hackensack Meridian Health
  • Jon Utech, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Corey Zarecki, Gundersen Health System
  • Mary Statz, UW Health