SARNIA & PETROLIA – March 24, 2017 – Bluewater Health will mark Earth Hour from 8:30 to 9:30 pm on Saturday, March 25, by dimming lights where possible and reducing power in certain HVAC systems. Earth Hour is a movement uniting the world to protect the planet.
Since implementing its Sustainable Energy Plan in 2013, Bluewater Health has launched a variety of projects to create a more energy-efficient and waste-conscious facility. “Our main focus is our infrastructure, which includes heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) as well as our steam plant,” says Alex Sullo, Director, Biomedical and Support Services, Bluewater Health. “However a stronger emphasis on employee and public awareness and lighting initiatives has been evident in the past year and will continue to be a focus for the future.”
Considerable savings were realized by introducing heat wheel technology within the Sarnia hospital’s HVAC units. Heat wheels capture heat that would normally be discharged outside and re-introduce it back into the system. Just one of three upgraded HVAC units alone has resulted in savings of $129,000/year and over $50,000 in incentives from utility partners. With the redevelopment of the Sarnia hospital’s front entrance, Bluewater Health has realized $30,000 in annual energy cost savings while improving accessibility and working conditions.
Bluewater Health has recently completed a preliminary feasibility study in partnership with its utility partners for an on-site cogeneration plant. It would use natural gas to run an engine to produce both electricity and heat, with the potential to save the organization over $400,000/year on energy costs.
“We’ve also undertaken a number of lighting projects to replace older fluorescent and halogen lighting with more efficient LED lighting and continue to do so,” adds Sullo. “We’ve installed interval meters (similar to a water meter you would have at home) attached to all hydro and gas meters throughout the building and continually pull data on consumption and display it on a dashboard. This allows our service staff to closely monitor consumption and understand how our infrastructure is operating.”
Through Bluewater Health’s waste reduction efforts and use of a reusable sharps container program, the hospitals diverted 20 tonnes of plastic waste from landfill or incineration last year.This is equivalent to almost 280,000 one-litreplastic bottles.“That is a remarkable volume of plastic diverted and an achievement of which we can be proud,” says Sullo. “This represents a 15% increase in waste diversion over previous years. We realize there is still work to do and we’ll evaluate our patient and public feedback and internal audits for viable future solutions.”
Bluewater Health, with locations in Sarnia and Petrolia, cares for the residents of Sarnia-Lambton. With close to 2,500 staff, Professional Staff and volunteers, Bluewater Health provides an array of specialized acute, complex continuing care, allied health and ambulatory care services. State-of-the-art facilities, which opened in 2010, contribute to Bluewater Health’s Mission:We create exemplary healthcare experiences for patients and families every time. For more information about Bluewater Health, visit www.bluewaterhealth.ca or follow us on Facebook and YouTube.
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