According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA), healthcare facility owners and organizations spend nearly $8.8 billion on energy each year to meet patient needs.  To improve energy efficiency, thousands of hospitals rely on the EPA’s Energy Star tools to help track consumption and prioritize facilities for energy upgrades.

Last week, EPA released an important update to Energy Star’s national energy performance scale methodology for hospitals. The updated performance scale will help hospitals better assess their energy performance and make more informed financial and investment decisions in order to cut costs and improve their energy efficiency.

Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager, an online energy measurement and tracking tool, will now include the updated hospital methodology. Over 85 percent of the acute care hospital market has already benchmarked their energy use with Portfolio Manager, making it the most widely used tool of its kind in the healthcare market. The update to Portfolio Manager reflects new survey data provided by the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and the significant changes in how hospitals use energy in recent years.

The updated Energy Star national energy performance scale methodology for hospitals now includes data inputs for the number of MRI machines and personnel and adjustments to weather normalization to reflect the amount of energy used to cool the building. Additionally, the methodology’s 5 million square foot size cap was removed, allowing larger hospitals to take advantage of the online tool.