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New fixtures shed light on savings at University

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Switching out light bulbs could help Uni­versity Hospital save more than $400,000 a year on its electric bill and be more environmentally friendly, an official said Thursday.

The hospital’s board of directors voted to spend $1.32 million to switch out 10,000 lights, a move that will pay for itself in less than three years, according to information presented to the board.

The move is expected to save $445,000 a year, and the decreased energy demand would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from a coal-fired power plant by more than 3,500 tons a year, said Kyle Howell, Uni­versity’s vice president of support and facilities services.

Much of the change will involve replacing older T12 fluorescent light fixtures with more energy-efficient T8 fluorescent lights, Howell said. The Ener­gy Independence and Se­cur­ity Act of 2007 set new standards for energy efficiency for light bulbs,
and the T12s have notlonger been made since last year.

Lighting in areas such as parking decks “provide a lot of light, but they are energy hogs,” Howell said, and those will also be changed out.

Part of the plan is to equip lights that are on all the time with devices such as motion sensors so they are not lit when no one is using them, Howell said.

In other business Thurs­day, the board reviewed the year-end financial report, which showed $456 million in total revenue and $44 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization – nearly $6 million below budget.

Taking into account $5 million from the Georgia Hospital Tax, $30.8 million in depreciation and amortization, and more than $8 million in interest meant the health care system essentially had “a break-even year,” said Dave Belkoski, University’s chief financial officer.

That includes the expense of adding more physician practices and about 400 employees, which also accounts for more revenue, he said.

“That portion of our business is growing as we diversify,” Belkoski said.

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Young Fred
Young Fred 03/01/13 - 02:24 am
ummm, spending 1.32 mil now

ummm, spending 1.32 mil now will save exactly 1/3 per year, resulting in a break even over 3 years ?

I'm sure the math is accurate(I'd love to see the assumptions used in these calculations), and all things were considered. Therefore one can't help but feel all warm and fuzzy.

But, if the university was serious about being green, they could invest millions in solar powered windmills to be installed along the roof tops.

I'm sure the the same people that ran the numbers on the light bulbs could amortize this multi-million dollar idea I've come up with over one or two decades and we could feel extra special warm and fuzzy

My services are for sale if they are interested in this project.

soapy_725 03/01/13 - 06:55 am
Looks good on paper.

Government Math 101. Absent from the calculation was the cost of handling the hazardous waste created by t he 10,000 bulbs to be trashed. This is the "elephant in the room" with the fluorescent bulbs. Storage, handling and disposal cost. Can you spell hazardous waste.

Where is the local coal fired electric plant? Didn't SCEG change Urquhart?

Falling water generation is the only environmentally clean energy producer. All of the rest are either cost prohibitive or polluting. Even burning cow ships. Who knew? LOL LOL

my.voice 03/01/13 - 09:27 am
Makes sense given the fact

Makes sense given the fact the older bulbs have been outlawed more or less. Change everything at once and reduce the energy load immediately.

MarinerMan 03/01/13 - 09:50 am
Break Even

Breaking even is better than losing money like several other hospitals did last year, but the hospital tax still gripes me. Especially when MCG got a pass, just because it receives some State funding.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/01/13 - 11:49 am

To throw functioning light bulbs into the landfill merely to replace them with theoretically more efficient ones is the height of irresponsibility. The smarter course would be to replace them with the efficient bulbs when they burn out. Common sense has left the building down at University Hospital.

MarinerMan 03/01/13 - 01:40 pm
Technology Sometimes is Wasteful

@LL - Like most other technology advancements, I'm guessing that they will be unable to just wait for the light bulb to burn out. I'm willing to bet that to embrace this new technology, they will need to replace the fixture also. I've seen it @ other commercial sites. It would be nice if they could design new technology that still fit the old fixtures, but that would harm the profit of the fixture maker...

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