MPP announces funding for energy saving project at KHSC

News / Work Place & Environment
By John Pereira

Project will help save $78,000 per-year in energy costs

Home owners across Ontario are making small changes such as replacing lightbulbs, turning down thermostats and doing loads of laundry in off-peak hours all in an effort to become more energy efficient. The same goes for hospitals who are now receiving support through the Provincial Government’s new Hospital Energy Efficiency Program (HEEP).

On December 8, Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala announced that Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) would be receiving $390,000 to retrofit 18 air handling units at our Kingston General Hospital (KGH) site.

“I am pleased to announce further investments in health care in Kingston and the Islands," said MPP Kiwala. "This investment in energy saving infrastructure allows the Kingston Health Sciences Centre to improve their efficiency and not only use less energy in the future but use those savings for other critical needs in our hospitals.” 

The money will be used to add variable frequency drives to KHSC’s large air handling units. Essentially, they work like a dimmer switch and will allow the hospital to ‘slow down’ the machines during the evenings and overnight in the spring and fall, taking advantage of the cool outside air.

“We would like to thank MPP Kiwala and the Province for their ongoing support of KHSC. This funding will allow us to use less energy to power our systems which will save the hospital an estimated $78 thousand per-year in energy costs,” said KHSC President and CEO Dr. David Pichora. “We will be able to redirect this saving back where it matters most – in direct patient care.”

Once the retrofit is complete, these large air handling units will be able to be controlled by a central computer in our Maintenance and Facilities Department. The system will be able to automatically control the temperature in rooms across the entire hospital.

“This retrofit will allow us to maintain the standards required for hospitals as well as ensure patients and staff are comfortable in the building, while at the same time, saving the hospital money,” says Chris Rousseau, Manager of Maintenance Planning, Projects and Quality at the KGH site.

Overall, the Hospital Energy Efficiency Program is funding 180 projects at 98 hospitals across the province this year. As a result of these and other improvements, almost five megatons of carbon dioxide equivalent gases are expected to be eliminated from the environment by 2050, the equivalent to taking about 40,000 vehicles off the road.

The program is an initiative of the Province’s Climate Change Action Plan and uses proceeds from Ontario’s carbon market to modernize facilities such as hospitals, universities, and heritage buildings.

“The Hospital Energy Efficiency Program is another example of the government’s commitment to reducing the environmental impact of our health care system,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. “These new investments will help ensure hospitals can focus on helping patients get timely access to appropriate, high-quality health care within a sustainable system.”