Energy and water impacts
Through energy and water savings programs, we’re able to cut costs while improving the environment in the communities we serve. Here are just a few of our energy- and water-saving initiatives.
Energy conservation: Our cogeneration plants
Hospitals are the second most energy-intensive facility types in the United States. So, our goal is to reduce our energy consumption as much as possible.
One way we offset our consumption is through our cogeneration plants at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.
What is a cogeneration plant?
Think of it like an eco-friendly power plant. A cogeneration plant simultaneously generates heat and electricity from a single fuel source, about 50 percent more efficiently than a utility power plant.
Through our cogeneration plants, we’re able provide our campuses with a high percentage of their heat and electricity needs.
We also capture what would be wasted heat and use it in other ways, such as powering boilers and a steam-powered turbine chiller. During warm months, the turbine chiller uses excess waste heat from the system to cool our facilities. And through the installation of a chilled-water-storage system, we’re able to shift our electrical peak, helping to reduce the use of power plants.
Our cogeneration plants allow us to reduce our energy use, saving millions of dollars annually, and dramatically reduce pollutants and their associated health impacts including premature death, chronic bronchitis, asthma attacks and respiratory concerns.
Other energy conservation initiatives
Energy efficiency becomes a part of every decision we make — from efficient heating and cooling systems to windows, lighting and solar panels. Here are some ways we’re lowering our energy consumption:
By installing 144 solar panels on the roof of Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, we’re able to produce non-polluting energy for the hospital while reducing our carbon footprint.
ENERGY STAR® rating
This program’s goal is to achieve energy efficiency. Through energy-saving initiatives, we aim to get our facilities to an ENERGY STAR rating of 70 percent — but in 2013, we scored a perfect 100 percent at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville.
Also called cool roofs. We’ve installed these roofs on some of our facilities to help reflect sunlight and keep our buildings cooler. They also last longer than traditional roofs.
LED lighting is up to 80 percent more efficient than traditional lighting, such as fluorescent and incandescent lighting. As part of a system-wide initiative, we’re working to switch all our facilities to LED lighting.
Water conservation: Saving and protecting water
From green, plant-covered roofs to installing automated flush valves and faucets in our facilities, here are some of our water-saving initiatives:
By installing plant-covered roofs (roofs covered with soil and plants) at some of our facilities, we’ve been able to prevent flash flood events, extend the life of our roofs, put oxygen back into the air (through the plants) and provide beautiful views for our patients and visitors.
We collect water from our air conditioning systems, treat it and reuse it in our facilities.
Native plants and landscaping
We choose to use native plants (those that can tolerate our climate the best) which require less watering and provide a habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Collecting water run-off
By catching water run-off from our parking lots, we’re able to reduce flash flooding, catch pollutants (oil and debris) and then reuse the water for air conditioning/cooling our facilities.
Medication take-back boxes
By offering medication take-back boxes in our hospitals, we’re helping our community safely dispose of unused or expired prescription medications — keeping medications from polluting our rivers and lakes.