The hospital sector has not been studied in depth in terms of exploring its large energy efficiency and behaviour change potential. This field research trial in one of the largest hospital networks in North America shows how a collective impact approach and collaborative co-design of behavioural interventions can lead to big, measurable savings of up to 20% on a year-to-year basis.
The Carolina Healthcare System (CHS) in the Carolinas is among the leading, and largest healthcare organisations in the U.S., employing 62,000 people in 940 care locations. The system has 7,500 beds and over 12 million patient encounters every year. In its commitment to energy management, efficiency and conservation, the organisation is pursuing strategies to decrease its energy use. One such strategy is implementing programmes that encourage building facilities staff to change their behaviour. The first phase in the CHS behaviour change program, Energy Connect, is an intervention that encourages operators to detect and act on energy inefficiencies within the buildings they are responsible for. Building operators account for a small percentage of people in each building, but have a disproportionally high impact on energy use. Therefore, if they were to change their behaviours, they could dramatically reduce overall energy use. IEA DSM Task 24 and ACEEE’s Behavior and Human Dimensions of Energy Efficiency program helped the Sustainability Director of CHS to co-create a highly collaborative behaviour change field trial.