Alan Freeman explains how the Whitfield Clinic in Waterford established an energy-management plan to become the first hospital in the UK and Ireland to achieve the ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard

Whitfield Clinic is a private hospital partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) and situated on the outskirts of Waterford city. It has a floor area of 13,000 m2 and a capacity of 80 bedrooms.

The clinic opened in 2006 with the aim of improving the availability of healthcare services to the southeast region and has recently become the first hospital in the Ireland and the UK to achieve ISO 50001 energy-management accreditation.

A key focus for Whitfield Clinic is to reduce its impact on the environment, with recycling and energy management top of its sustainability agenda. Whitfield Clinic has teamed up with Veolia since 2006 to deliver mechanical and electrical maintenance along with delivering facilities and energy-management services.

In terms of improving energy efficiency in the clinic, Whitfield Clinic has a strong track record in delivering verified energy savings. In 2009, it partnered with Veolia to install a combined heat and power (CHP) plant to reduce its energy and carbon emissions. Following on from this, Veolia designed and installed a high efficiency chilled-water system, which resulted in verified energy saving of 33.4%.

To further enhance the partnership, in November 2015 Veolia established an energy team and began implementing an Energy Management System in Whitfield Clinic with a view to achieving ISO 50001 Energy Management Standard accreditation for the entire site.

The energy team consisted of:

  • Alan Freeman Veolia – Energy Manager
  • David Beirne Whitfield Clinic – CEO
  • Damien Mulligan Veolia – Site Lead
  • Conor McGovern Whitfield Clinic – CFO
  • Mike McLaughlin Veolia – Mechanical Technician

Prior to the implementation of ISO 50001, Whitfield Clinic was experiencing a common challenge similar to many organisations. Although energy costs were monitored and budgets in place, there was no formalised energy management plan established.

Key objectives of the energy team

The key objectives of the energy team from the outset of this project were to encourage employee and patient engagement, develop and communicate the energy policy, provide up to date energy information to all stakeholders, identify key performance indicators and improve the overall efficiency of the clinic. ISO 50001 provided the framework for Whitfield Clinic to achieve these objectives and ensure a structured approach to energy management was established.

At the beginning of the implementation phase, the energy team developed and communicated the Clinic’s energy policy, which is displayed in the main reception area. The next phase of implementation was to conduct a detailed energy review, which commenced with a review of historic energy trends.

Following this, the energy team established an energy baseline, which would allow for comparison against current performance. Based on similar patient levels and condition predicted for 2016, agreement was reached to use the previous year consumption levels (2015) as a baseline.

Underpinning ISO 50001 Standard is the identification of significant energy users (SEUs). At Whitfield Clinic, the energy team recognised, documented and communicated its large energy consumers. Significant energy users can be seen in Table 1 below:

Whitfield Clinic & UPMC Cancer Care – Significant Energy Users
Gas Electricity
Boilers Chillers
Combined heat and power plant Power – Outpatients
Power – Inpatients
Table 1: Significant energy users

Having identified the SEUs, the energy team then went about pinpointing variables affecting each user and through regression analysis techniques a strong correlation was established which led to the following energy performance indicators (EPIs).

    • Chiller electricity vs cooling degree days – cooling degree days is a measure of how much the outside air temperature is above a certain level. For this KPI, the higher the outside temperature is, the more electricity is used to provide cooling for the clinic.
    • Total gas vs heating degree days – similar to the point above, lower outside air temperature results in more gas being used to heat the building to provide occupant comfort.
    • Efficiency of CHP – the energy team track both the thermal and electrical efficiency of the CHP unit.
    • Electricity vs patient numbers – the main driver for electricity consumption is patient numbers. The energy team have found two EPIs relating to this: electricity vs outpatients, and electricity vs inpatients.

Increased energy efficiency

Based on the EPIs detailed above, Whitfield Clinic & UPMC Cancer Centre now have the capability to track performance against related variables and can accurately predict future energy consumption, which supports budget planning.

Supplementing the clinic’s drive for increased energy efficiency, top-level management have set an energy target for gas and electricity as 5% lower than 2015 consumptions based on similar conditions. In response to this target, the energy team has identified a number of objectives and action plans relating to optimisation of current equipment, set points and processes in Whitfield Clinic.

This has resulted in the development of a register of opportunities, where all energy-saving ideas are recorded, measured, costed, verified and project-owner identified.

During the implementation period, Whitfield Clinic was externally audited on two separate occasions to ensure it was compliant with all clauses set out in the ISO 50001 Standard. The Stage 2 audit was completed at the end of July and following an internal certification review meeting, the auditors approved Whitfield Clinic for ISO 50001 Certification.

It was later confirmed that Whitfield Clinic is the first hospital (public or private) in Ireland and the UK to achieve this accreditation, which is a great achievement for both the energy team and all associated with Whitfield Clinic.

ISO50001 recognition will enable the energy team to deliver more cost savings and carbon-emission savings by identifying energy-saving initiatives. Veolia has committed to continue working closely with Whitfield Clinic to ensure it remains one of the most energy-efficient hospitals in Ireland and the UK.

alan-freemanAuthor: Alan Freeman, Energy Manager with Veolia, who specialises in implemented ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems O'RiordanElecenergy,healthcare,heat,standards,Veolia,Waterford
Whitfield Clinic is a private hospital partnered with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) and situated on the outskirts of Waterford city. It has a floor area of 13,000 m2 and a capacity of 80 bedrooms. The clinic opened in 2006 with the aim of improving the availability of...