Cottage Grove Community Hospital - Cottage Grove, Oregon

Energy Management Program using ENERGY STAR

Overview: Cottage Grove Community Hospital (CGCH) is a critical access hospital serving south Lane and northern Douglas counties in Oregon.  The 40,000-square-foot facility includes 14 beds, an emergency department, a complete lab, a radiology department, and clinic space for the physicians of South Lane Medical Group, all under one roof.  The hospital is part of PeaceHealth, a Bellevue, Wash.-based, not-for-profit healthcare system with hospitals and medical centers in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon that serve more than 57,000 inpatient admissions annually in both rural and urban settings.

Since CGCH's opening in October 2003, facility leaders have been dedicated to energy conservation and optimization, in accordance with PeaceHealth's energy mandate.  The hospital's facilities manager and building engineer instituted an energy management program using ENERGY STAR, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national energy performance rating system as guidance.  Based on their findings, they fine-tuned the programming of the heating and air-conditioning systems, adjusted lighting timers, and added energy-efficient window coverings.  In May 2008, CGCH earned an ENERGY STAR Award, the national symbol for protecting the environment through superior energy performance. CGCH joins approximately 3,200 buildings nationwide that have earned the ENERGY STAR.  Organizations earn the ENERGY STAR by using EPA'S national energy performance rating system to generate energy-efficiency ratings for their buildings, on a scale of 1 to 100 relative to similar buildings across the country. The rating system is available for office buildings, schools, dormitories, hotels, hospitals, and grocery stores, among other commercial buildings. CGCH is rated at 82.

Impact: By earning the ENERGY STAR, CGCH and Clinics is using approximately 35 percent less energy than average buildings, while still providing quality service and comfort to occupants. CGCH and Clinics lowered its annual energy costs per square foot to $2.06, compared with the national hospital average of $2.89.  In addition, CGCH lowered its CO2 emissions to 663 tons/year compared with the national average of 931 tons/year.

PeaceHealth's Energy Management Program and the ENERGY STAR Building Manual and Portfolio Manager has become the backbone of the hospital's energy management program. All these small steps and superior maintenance have enabled Cottage Grove Community Hospital and Clinics to obtain the ENERGY STAR certification.

Challenges/success factors: In the United States, energy loss from commercial buildings represents about 18 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions.  In 2006 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved $14 billion and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to those from 25 million vehicles.  The program uses a seven-step process to achieve energy efficiency:

1. Commit to continuous improvement
- Form a dedicated team
- Institute an energy policy
2. Assess performance
- Collect and manage data
- Determine baseline and benchmark
- Analyze and evaluate energy use patterns
3. Set goals
- Determine scope
- Estimate potential for improvement
4. Create action plan
- Define technical steps and targets
- Determine roles and resources
5. Implement action plan
- Create a communication plan
- Raise awareness
- Build capacity and motivate
6. Evaluate progress
- Measure results
- Review action plan
7. Recognize achievements
- Provide internal recognition
- Receive external recognition

Future direction/sustainability: Cottage Grove leaders will continue to monitor energy usage through the Energy Star Program.  Their next project is to redesign the cooling systems for their Lab department.

Advice to others: Hospitals interested in earning Energy Star certification should start by benchmarking their facilities through  They should then implement easy fixes first, as all positive changes make a difference.

Contact: Alan Williams
Facilities Manager
Telephone: (541) 942-6565



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