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Tuality Healthcare is going green with energy savings

July 26, 2012

For immediate release
Contact:  Gerry Ewing / 503-681-1654

An aggressive energy efficiency lighting campaign funded in part by the Energy Trust of Oregon is paying big dividends for Tuality Healthcare. The Facilities & Properties Department has converted lighting in a whole host of buildings and departments from money-wasting to energy efficient lighting.

The latest areas to receive lighting upgrades are the waiting rooms and exterior building lights at Tuality Community Hospital. Scheduled for completion this month are the Tuality Hematology/Oncology clinic in the Tuality 8th Avenue Medical Plaza and the auditorium in the Tuality Health Education Center .Three entire buildings – the Ninth and Oak parking structure, Tuality HealthPlace and the Records Center – have also received new, energy efficient lighting upgrades.

Tuality spends nearly $1 million annually on electricity. Approximately 25 percent of that figure goes for lighting. Changing to more energy efficient lighting is the easiest, least expensive way to trim electricity usage, said Lois Pierce, facilities department analyst. “It’s the low-hanging fruit,” she said. Most of the lighting projects have a return on investment of less than two years due to the energy savings.

Tuality is able to convert lighting through incentives from the Energy Trust of Oregon, an independent nonprofit dedicated to saving energy. As an example, a $22,677 cash incentive from the Energy Trust helped fund a lighting change at the Ninth and Oak parking structure. The change was from high-pressure sodium fixtures to compact fluorescents with motion detectors. The change reduced electricity usage about 60 percent, resulting in an average savings of $900 a month. Parking structures have minimum lighting requirements; to meet these requirements, the new, more efficient fixtures have a two-foot bulb in the center that stays on 24/7, plus two four-foot bulbs on either side that don’t come on until tripped by the motion sensor. The new fixtures provide better lighting for the security cameras and the sensors offer users a heightened level of awareness.

Tuality Healthplace, 1200 NE 48th Ave., and the Records Center, 160 W. Main, had T12 lighting upgraded to more efficient T8 lighting. Only ballasts and lamps were changed in the fixtures. Energy Trust provided cash incentives of $7,475 , resulting in nearly a 20-percent energy savings in each building.

 

Saving energy earns a nonprofit like Tuality what are called “business energy tax credits” from the Oregon Department of Energy. These are essentially chunks of money Tuality can sell to another company with a tax liability, known as a Pass-Through Partner, at a discount to further offset project costs. The tax credits from the energy saving projects at the parking structure and the other buildings currently available total roughly $24,215. Tuality is currently looking for Pass-Through Partners who could benefit from the tax impact of these business energy tax credits while helping Tuality continue upgrading our facilities. If someone you know may be interested, please have them call the Facilities and Properties office.

Saving energy doesn’t happen with a flip of a switch. Steve Krautscheid, Director of Facilities and Properties, would like to thank Lois Pierce as well as Tuality electricians Roy Pierce and Dan Shepherd who have completed the majority of the lighting work. “With Lois, Dan and Roy leading the way, Tuality is reducing our environmental footprint as well as saving money - way to go, Team!