Developing an Energy Management Policy through Public-Private Partnership
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. Specifically, the program offers ongoing support as well as a method to track progress and address periodic questions. This initiative is one of the offerings Energy Trust of Oregon provides to all commercial customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas, and Avista looking to save money on energy bills. The utilities collect a small additional fee on eligible customer utility bills. These collected fees fund the program and the rebates/incentives that are offered.
To create an energy management plan and strategy specific to Legacy Health, Energy Trust experts evaluated and developed a list of potential energy-saving improvements that could be implemented at each of the organization’s six hospitals in the Portland metro area. The efficiency experts conducted a thorough review and provided an outside perspective that helped identify gaps in the existing structure and methodology already in use by the organization. This gap analysis led to a system-wide energy policy, complete with a plan to uncover additional efficiency opportunities and identify savings goals over a five-year timeframe. Legacy Health regularly evaluates the plan’s progress following the structure provided by the program. Taking into account facilities’ progress to-date and capital plans, Legacy Health updates the savings goals. Ultimately, the program structure provides a roadmap to guide Legacy Health’s energy efficiency efforts.
The SEM initiative focuses on deploying best practices to optimize operations and maintenance with a facilities’ staff to establish behavioral changes that drive energy savings. Energy teams are in place at each site for consistency across the organization and to lead the implementation of improvements. Each team participates in monthly calls conducted by Legacy Health’s Sustainability Program Manager with a network of facility operations engineers, managers, and an Energy Trust Professional Engineer, to discuss energy trends and project progress, review best practices, recognize successes and assist with diagnosis when energy consumption increases unexpectedly. Changes implemented by the energy teams between calls are tracked via an event log. Additional best practices implemented include displaying energy charts in work areas, building or space scheduling based on occupancy, a review of schedule “overrides” to reset when appropriate, and ongoing equipment tuning and repair. Energy Trust provides ongoing support and guidance to ensure a path to success.
Within three years, Legacy Health saved $344,000 in energy costs, saving 258,000 therms of natural gas and 3.1 million kWh of electricity. These savings resulted from operations and maintenance improvements including building scheduling, system tuning, device calibration, and system repair.
Legacy Health has also benefited from $2 million in existing building and new construction incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon in the past five years to help finance energy efficiency upgrades and improve return on investment.
For more information on the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management Initiative, success stories, and Legacy Health’s Sustainability Program, visit: