Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center Is Focusing on Community Health through PEER Certification

This onsite district energy system has allowed the campus to save about 53 million kWh of energy, mitigate 17 kilotons of CO2 emissions and achieve cost savings of nearly $4 million annually.

To achieve permanent reductions in its energy demand and consumption, the campus also implemented energy optimization programs with an automation platform across its HVAC, chiller plant and other key energy consumers. As an addition to its portfolio of efficiency measures, this permanent conservation effort helped achieve energy savings of 6 million kWh and cost savings of about $500,000 while mitigating 3.8 kilotons of CO2 emissions annually.

Through these combined savings, Hershey Medical Center has been able to reinvest in infrastructure to provide a higher level of patient care while reducing strain on the local grid.

A New Lens: Sustainability as Health Care
“The PEER certification helped us acknowledge that we are a major regional energy user and what kind of impact that much resource use has on our community’s health in a holistic sense,” says Kevin Kanoff, campus energy engineer.

“Health care doesn’t just start and stop at our doors; it’s our impact on the environment, as well,” agrees Mark Heisey, facilities compliance program manager. Heisey and Kanoff were key facilitators of PEER certification across the Hershey campus.

Heisey and Kanoff’s perspective is shared with a growing number in the health-care field, though Hershey is at the forefront of its implementation. If the global health-care sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest greenhouse-gas emitter on the planet, according to a report from Health Care Without Harm. Health-care facilities have a significant carbon footprint because of their need for constant, high energy usage.

“The PEER certification process allowed us to look at our own carbon footprint, the good and the bad,” Heisey explains. “We needed to pull data together for our application in a way we normally wouldn’t, and it really broadened our horizon. It showed us just how important energy conservation can be when attempting to reduce that carbon footprint.”

Hershey Medical Center joins a growing number of projects that are modernizing their power systems through PEER. From the higher-education sector, like the University of Texas at Austin, to transportation hubs, like the Bangalore International Airport and Delhi Metro Rail Company, to municipal utility companies, such as EPB of Chattanooga and beyond, projects are pursuing bolstered resilience, cost savings and a clearer view of their environmental impact.

Through the PEER process, the Hershey Medical Center facilities and engineering teams discovered the symbiosis between their shared goals.

To prepare for the future, resilience and efficiency must go hand in hand.

Learn More

Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER)

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s PEER Certification

Hershey Medical Center’s Energy Optimization Platform: Optimum Energy

About the Author

Sumner Byrne, LEED Green Associate
Sumner Byrne, LEED Green Associate, is senior manager of digital marketing at the U.S. Green Building Council and Green Business Certification Inc. She devotes her time to articulating the impacts and importance of green building and business certifications on their communities’ health, environment and economies.

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