Hospitals in Spain use 2% of energy, according to National healthcare systems. This consumption rate represents one of the main items in the profit and loss account of a hospital. Therefore, the implementation of measures leading to savings becomes necessary, for the sake of both energy efficiency and financial savings.

If energy consumption in hospitals were supervised, close to 180 million euros could be saved encompassing the whole National healthcare system. To that effect, the role of energy consultants is becoming indispensable so that implemented measures come to be effective.

Energy consultants are experts in charge of following the steps to go through energy efficiency, managing the implemented systems and regulating them. The advantages of relying on energy consultants at hospitals are many, since they boost a rational use of systems, resulting in comfort enhancement, and energy savings are fulfilled as well as breakdowns reduced, thus saving on maintenance and extending the systems life cycle.

One of the first measures will be carrying out an energy audit to become acquainted with the way the hospital works regarding energy use and determining possible savings that could be fulfilled. After all, what we are unaware of cannot be managed.

The second step is the installation of an energy management system tracking consumption and working in real time. With only this point, savings from 10 to 30% may already be fulfilled.

It must be taken into consideration that hospitals are 24/7 service centres and so, their energy usage becomes high, mainly regarding HVAC, as well as air and light hygienic treatment. However, keeping standard comfort levels for patients is not incompatible with energy efficiency.

For instance, an energy consultant may decide to substitute oil-fired boilers for natural gas, which will already bring considerable savings on consumption. Another measure of significance is combining natural and artificial lights, which will entail substantial economic savings and improvement in comfort.

A further action the energy consultant can implement is checking closure systems, confirming their correct state and the absence of leaks, mostly in those environments requiring special conditions, such as operating theatres. Having good hermetic automatic doors helps reducing to a great extent maintenance costs in those facilities. In other not so critical hospital areas, automatic doors can be used for sectorizing environments, insulated glazing and appropriate ventilation systems, are also important to accomplish economic savings.

Once these and other additional measures to achieve efficiency have been taken, the role of an energy consultant is essential for managing the set of processes, verifying they all follow the arranged patterns, as well as determining possible inadequate usages which could lead to diminish the savings.

Besides, energy consultants play a key role in being acquainted with the different regulations on energy matters, both European and nationwide. This is an aspect that has to be taken into account, since it becomes more and more important when speaking of hospital management.