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Energy savings programme reaps rewards

Stefan van Rooij, maintenance and facilities engineer

Thanks to an energy savings programme, Waikato DHB has cut its energy use on the Waiora Waikato Hospital Campus site by almost nine percent over three years from July 2014 to June 2017. That is a saving worth about $715,000.

The target reduction of 5,000,000kWh of energy per annum was achieved during the 2016/17 year after steady improvements as initiatives took effect.

The energy savings programme is conducted by Waikato DHB’s Property and Infrastructure service and spearheaded by Stefan van Rooij, maintenance and facilities engineer.

Energy savings Waikato Hospital pie graph

Type of energy savings on Waikato Hospital campus from 2014 to 2017.

Collectively across the three years, savings amount to 3,559,000kWh of electricity and 6,296,000kWh of thermal energy.

“It is an awesome achievement and has come about from a mix of measures ranging from new energy efficient plant and lighting, to improvements in control of ventilation and air conditioning,” van Rooij says. “Our operational engineers identified opportunities to not only save energy but also improve the comfort of building spaces for staff, patients and visitors.”

The energy management team are not resting on their laurels – they have set a new target of 7,500,000kWh per annum to be achieved by June 2020.

A whopping 83 percent of savings to date are from control modifications and improvements which are relatively low-cost to implement.

An example is the Waiora Building where significant savings and comfort improvements have been made. The building’s electricity use is now 36 percent less than what it was at the start of the programme in July 2014 – a tremendous improvement.

“Energy monitoring is essential so we can track changes in performance of the hospital buildings, and that was a real challenge,” van Rooij explains. “We made the most of the existing metering already on site by repair, calibration and improving connectivity of devices.

Waiora Building west side

Waiora Building, Pembroke Street side. The building’s electricity use is now 36 percent less than what it was at the start of the energy saving programme in July 2014

“Steam, electricity and natural gas can now be monitored by building and detailed analysis undertaken by leveraging into the existing Honeywell and Siemen’s building control systems. In the future, cloud-based building analytics are expected to support site operations by early detection of plant failure and controls drifting outside operational parameters.”

Improved monitoring is already leading to other opportunities. “We can hold onto the savings we’ve made, and add more savings on top of that,” van Rooij says. “We have already spotted quite a few areas to work on. There is potential for a lot more yet.”

A recent example has been the supply of chilled water from the Meade Clinical Centre chillers. These large chillers are very energy efficient and were used to offset chilled water production from the less efficient chillers based in Kempthorne Building. A sizeable net reduction in power use is already being seen.

Chilled water is used for air-conditioning cooling and for cooling for machines such as CT scanners and theatre equipment.

Learnings from the programme are being shared with other DHBs through a regional energy forum organised by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA).

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