Healthy savings freed up for healthcare

A programme of monitoring and optimising the HVAC system at Counties Manukau SuperClinic saves hundreds of thousands of dollars in operational costs per year. The programme got off the ground with a Crown loan.

Counties Manukau Health (CMH) uses nearly a third less energy than it used to at one of its biggest clinics, the SuperClinic.

The energy use of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system was halved by implementing a continuous commissioning programme.

Continuous commissioning refers to on-going monitoring and optimisation of HVAC systems, which often waste energy if they are not set-up and maintained properly.

CMH staff, working in close collaboration with their HVAC contractor, used rigorous continuous commissioning practices to achieve the results.

Energy Manager Mark Davis installed detailed sub-metering on all utilities at the site and established the continuous commissioning programme as part of an energy management plan. Data from the site’s building management system (BMS) and sub-metering systems was used to tune the HVAC system, to reduce wastage and reduce HVAC running costs by 50%.

“Continuous commissioning is one of the most cost-effective energy efficiency measures available, and can produce significant savings for limited expenditure,” says Mark.

“Optimising existing equipment kept cost and disruption to a minimum and we achieved better than $200,000 per annum savings with payback under 12-months.”

Even small inefficiencies in an HVAC system can mean huge energy wastage over time. “Because we use sub-metering to identify day-to-day fluctuations in our energy use, we can combine this with detailed interrogation of the BMS to pinpoint a problem when it pops up, fix it, and stop the energy wastage as it occurs.”

Mark believes setting up a continuous commissioning management plan could save many businesses 10-20% of their total energy costs for a site in a short space of time.

Crown loans help the public sector save money

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) supported CMH’s project with a Crown loan – an interest-free way to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for publicly funded organisations. Public sector organisations are also eligible for other EECA co-funding programmes.

Crown loans