Just as energy and water costs can account for a big chunk of a household's monthly budget, they also take a toll on public facilities – hospitals, government buildings, etc. Being able to reduce those costs can mean more budget available to meet other needs, from enhancing services to accommodating more people. That's why we thought it worthwhile to highlight the story below about how a VA hospital in Puerto Rico is getting some major infrastructure upgrades designed to improve patient care – with no upfront costs. – Philip Bane
Schneider Electric will deliver $7 million in infrastructure upgrades at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The project will also address water consumption at the facility where drought conditions are impacting costs.
With VA facilities typically hampered by tight budgets, what's significant is that the upgrades will be done with no up-front capital investment through a guaranteed energy savings performance contract (ESPC). This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management and environmental protection.
$1 million in energy savings guaranteed
Under the contract, Schneider Electric will guarantee more than $1 million in annual energy savings to the VA to fund the improvements over the life of the project.
A significant portion of the work focuses on water conservation efforts to alleviate high water bills brought on by recent drought conditions and a remote water island environment, which drive up the price of fresh water. By installing low-flow plumbing fixtures, the VA will be able to significantly reduce water consumption which translates to tangible utility savings. Additional energy conservation measures include lighting, HVAC and advanced metering system upgrades.
Improving living and operating conditions
“Schneider Electric is dedicated to providing innovative ways to improve operations through energy and infrastructure upgrades that support the VA’s mission of advancing care for veterans and their families,” said Jeff Sherman, the company's Director of Federal Energy & Sustainability Services.
“We are proud to deliver critical upgrades that will dramatically improve the living and operating conditions in the hospital, and also help the VA achieve its energy conservation and sustainability goals with no impact on its operating budget," Sherman added.
Schneider has a history with the VA; in fact, the company has completed similar projects at three VA New England Healthcare System facilities, which will save $10 million in energy costs over the life of the projects.
“Through our partnership with Schneider Electric, we’re able to achieve energy efficiency we never imagined was possible and deliver new levels of comfort and care to our patients,” said Sixto Ortiz-Diaz, Energy Manager, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
This article is from the Council's Compassionate Cities initiative which highlights how city leaders and other stakeholders can leverage smart technologies to end suffering in their communities and give all citizens a route out of poverty. Click the Compassionate Cities box on our registration page to receive our weekly newsletter.
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