Editorials

Hospital leads way in saving energy

Providence St. Peter Hospital and Puget Sound Energy have formed quite a team when it comes to saving the hospital energy and money.

In the past 10 years, the state’s largest investor-owned utility has awarded nearly $2 million in energy efficiency grants to support the Olympia hospital’s energy conservation projects.

The net result: The hospital has curbed its use of electricity and natural gas, saving an estimated $700,000 per year.

The money saved is plowed right back into the nonprofit hospital to improve patient care and fund new energy efficiency projects.

And the energy conserved by the hospital helps take pressure off the utility to build costly new power sources to meet the energy demands of a growing utility customer base.

Energy conservation and energy efficiency are the preferred source of energy.

It’s often the least expensive option when compared with building a new power plant, and it doesn’t have an impact on the environment.

The latest joint venture involves a $458,343 energy efficiency grant from Puget Sound Energy to recycle the hospital’s boiler heat, reducing the temperature of the hot air released into the atmosphere by 250 degrees.

By capturing the waste heat before it vents out the boiler stack, the hospital has more hot air to heat the hospital and provide hot water, reducing natural gas costs by some $60,000 a year.

Within the health care industry, Providence St. Peter Hospital is leading the way on other environmental fronts. For instance:

 • The hospital has a 28 percent recycling rate of its total waste stream. That’s well above the benchmark of 10 percent for health care facilities recognized for their recycling programs.

 • Providence St. Peter Hospital is committed to creating a mercury free environment. The persistent neurotoxin is no longer used in clinical devices such as thermometers, light bulbs, cleaning supplies, laboratory chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

 • The hospital is one of seven in the state to be Energy Star certified for its use of energy efficient appliances and other indoor environmental standards.

With the help of programs offered by Puget Sound Energy, Providence St. Peter Hospital continues to be a leader in blending environmentally friendly practices into the health care workplace.

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