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DO YOU KNOW how much money you're
spending unnecessarily on energy in your
hospital? When it comes to heating and
cooling a hospital's technology hub, supply
chain leaders---working with their facility
infrastructure managers---can achieve sub-
stantial savings by making simple changes,
says Mike Walker, president of Beacon
Consultants Network, which provides
free energy e ciency consultations to
HealthTrust members, sponsored by the
U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR program.
Heating and cooling accounts for
approximately one-third to one-half or
more of the costs associated with operat-
ing a data center. In fact, servers and data
centers consume about 100 billion kilowatt
hours in the United States each year. That
adds up to $7.4 billion, according to statis-
tics from Beacon Consultants Network in
So when finding places to ferret out
waste, check into your data center's heating
and cooling---and think about these three
potential savings opportunities:
It's time to take stock of your IT
equipment. Could you be running
more energy-e cient servers? Are
you operating too many servers that are
underutilized? What could you consolidate
For example, perhaps your hospital
commissioned a server specifically for a
particular project or use. The project is a
distant memory now, or the person who
deployed the server is long gone, but the
server is still operating. Just by operating, that
server is "creating heat and sucking power
out of the wall," as Walker puts it. Lightly uti-
lized or underutilized servers waste similar
amounts of energy---not generating enough
benefit for the costs to run them.
"No one wants to be the one who unplugs
the server that someone might be doing mis-
sion-critical work on, so it stays running,"
How to solve the problem: server virtual-
ization. This process allows the deployment
of new servers by using software, rather
than purchasing new hardware. This often
provides the biggest bang for the buck, so
many organizations start with this process.
It's now considered an industry-standard
best practice, Walker notes.
A byproduct of data processing is
heat, and servers tend to generate
an impressive amount.
"From an electricity perspective,
they're really ine cient," Walker says.
"They generate a ton of heat while they're
doing useful work, and that heat has to be
dissipated. That's why data centers need a
lot of cooling."
The good news is that IT equipment is har-
dier today than it once was and can withstand
a greater range of temperatures. "If you walk
into a data center, and it's freezing cold, in all
likelihood, they're overcooling that room,"
Several methods of airflow management
can make the cooling process work more
e ciently and inexpensively. For example,
How to save money with smarter utilization of your facility's technology hub
Cool Down Energy Costs
Your facility's data center obviously isn't the only place
where you can save significant money by conserving
energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
HealthTrust's EnergyTrust program, led by Jon
Ervin, AVP, saved qualified members more than
$35 million in 2011 through energy supply contracts.
"Deregulated natural gas and electric contracting combined
with volume aggregation and e ective price risk management
have allowed EnergyTrust participants to save about 20 percent
in recent years when compared to utility rates," Ervin says. "A
large group of our members in Texas will be paying about 50
percent less for electricity in 2013 than they paid just four years
ago," he adds.
EnergyTrust also o ers a utility bill processing service with tools
that allow the facility to track energy usage, greenhouse gas emis-
sions and budgets.
Other EnergyTrust solutions include facility re-commissioning
programs, access to and discounts on energy e cient products and
technologies, and low- to no-chemical water-treatment solutions.
To start, a hospital fills out a Facility Information Request Form.
Once deemed eligible to participate, HealthTrust performs analysis
to identify potential savings, then produces an action plan with
For more information about the EnergyTrust program and how
its solutions can improve your bottom line, or to request an assess-
ment, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 344--3000. •
An Energy-E cient Partner
18 The Source | Fourth Quarter 2012
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