UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


Assessing savings potentials from changes in energy behaviours of hospital staff: benefits and challenges of energy audits


6 June 2015

Behaviour change is increasingly considered as potentially cost-effective measure to reduce organisational energy use, while campaign evaluation remains a major challenge. Previous research has shown that especially in complex non-domestic buildings the variability in baseline energy use may often equal campaign effect sizes. In hospitals, evaluative attempts are further complicated by a prevalent lack of sub-metering. Surveying and energy audits are common tools to obtain information on buildings and organisational processes and identify energy conservation opportunities in the face of these obstacles. This paper investigates the viability of using energy audits as explicit resource to explore the theoretical potential of energy savings obtainable through behaviour changes of healthcare staff. Detailed audits of lighting and appliance use were carried out in 11 hospital departments for which plug loads and lighting consumption were also monitored at the distribution board level. Reduction opportunities from specific changes in energy behaviours were then modelled on their basis to establish ex-ante estimations for savings potentials. The method proved useful in ranking different end-uses to guide behavioural energy conservation efforts in hospitals. Usability was however limited by uncertainties remaining for data inputs from audits, both for power ratings and more importantly for usage hours and frequencies with which behaviours were currently performed. Detailed energy audits were hence found to be a workable tool for campaigns reforming protocols and procedures to eliminate redundant energy use, while they seemed less helpful for those promoting easy standard behaviours. For the latter, it seems advisable to consider additional methods of data collection as part of evaluative strategies depending on project aims, available budget, access to technical staff and the importance of respective end-uses.

Assessing savings potentials from changes in energy behaviours of hospital staff: benefits and challenges of energy audits. eceee2015 Summer Study on energy efficiency Belambra Les Criques, Toulon/Hyeres, France.

Morgenstern, P., Raslan, R., Ruyssevelt, P (2015)

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