An overhaul of Waikato Hospital’s Waiora Building is reaping major energy savings.
New high performance chillers have been installed and, together with other initiatives, have slashed $167,000 off the hospital’s power bill.
The new chillers were purchased via a $278,600 Crown loan accessed through the Energy Electricity and Conservation Authority (EECA). The loan has to be paid back within five years.
The Waiora Building fronts Pembroke St and has a floor area of 14,790 square metres.
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The seven-level building contains clinical offices as well as the hospital laboratory which runs 24/7.
Waikato DHB operations manager Mike FitzPatrick said the energy savings have a flow-on effect.
Planning from the project started in 2015. The work was completed in February 2016.
“We have a fairly large budget for energy – electricity and gas – so any small saving that we can make in percentage terms translates into a significant amount of money which obviously can be reallocated to delivering health services which we are all about,” FitzPatrick said.
The new chillers have carved $73,500 off the Waiora Building’s electricity bill.
Waikato Hospital spends more than $3 million a year on electricity.
In addition to the new chillers, a project team investigated the building’s heating and ventilation controls, resulting in further electricity savings of $88,000 a year.
“The engineers calculated what the potential savings are and it’s really good to discover and confirm that we’ve met or exceeded those expectations,” FitzPatrick said.
EECA general manager Greg Visser said public sector agencies, such as hospitals and universities, can apply for funding for a range of energy-saving initiatives.
Taking advantage of targeted, interest-free loans means hospitals don’t have to divert funding from core priorities, Visser said.
Loans are paid back with savings from the project.
Waikato DHB has slashed its energy bill by $300,000 a year due to energy efficiency projects carried out since 2015.
FitzPatrick said the Crown loan enabled the Waikato DHB to purchase new chillers rather than repair its existing machines.