The U.S. Department of Energy recently released a new Better Buildings Initiative resource, the Healthcare Financing Primer, to help organizations take advantage of financial strategies to implement energy-efficiency projects in the health care sector. The primer explains how the health care sector’s energy-intensive buildings can overcome common financial barriers to successfully administer efficiency projects that result in energy savings, increased affordability, and improved occupant comfort.
According to the Better Buildings Progress Report, the U.S. health care sector has an enormous potential for cost savings, given the fact that it spends more than $6.5 billion each year on energy costs. In addition, this market accounts for more than 4.1 billion square feet of floor space; therefore, it faces numerous challenges when considering energy upgrades in these facilitates.
The high upfront capital cost of energy-efficiency projects can create barriers for the adoption and implementation of energy conservation measures. However, there are financing methods available that help building stakeholders overcome that initial cost to receive the long-term benefits of increased efficiency. Different approaches can enable organizations to pay for the efficiency project over time through mechanisms like loans, leases, and efficiency-as-a-service.
In addition to high upfront capital costs, each sector has its own unique challenges that may impact how an organization chooses to approach financing for energy projects. For example, hospitals and other health care buildings may have stringent environmental and operational requirements that may increase the cost or disruption of efficiency projects. Health care organizations looking to reduce their energy spending can take advantage of financing solutions like energy savings performance contractors (ESPCs) and green revolving funds. For more information on financing options as well as what factors have the greatest effect on health care energy improvement projects, read the full report.