The U.K. organizaton, "New Economic Foundation" published a treatise regarding the impact of healthcare organizations on global warming and the balance of carbon credits for the world economy.
The percentage of our own GDP derived from U.S. healthcare is enormous and if one were to analyze energy consumption in our industry it would be a significant percentage of our overall energy consumption.
Federal systems such as the VA's infrastructure would probably benefit from the retro-fitting of industrial light and HVAC systems.
Academic medical centers and newer integrated healthcare systems should be aware of the importance of energy conservation just by examining their monthly utility bills.
There are many alternative energy sources such as biomass, solar, and wind driven systems. While most institutions could not be totally dependent upon these alternative sources, they could signficantly reduce dependence on the 'grid'.
How many healthcare facilities have an ongoing energy saving program? At this time of year when it is hottest we all think about the potential for rotating outages, grey outs, and system overloads. These "catastrophic events" are relatively infrequent, however it is the gradual "creep" that is most significant.
Our increase in utilization of health information systems also will increase the need for power as well as cooling capacity. The heat generated by these systems is very significant and in winter weather actually can be used as a source for heating of buildings.
Newer structures should be designed intellligently for transfer and recycling of energy sources. Attention should be paid to heat transfer and highly efficient server rooms and racks.
These costs become even more significant as payors and CMS reduce reimbursement to hospitals and providers.
Few analysts factor in the cost of energy in providing IT systems designed to reduce costs and increase "efficiency".