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Switch to T5/T8 Lamps Saves Money, Provides Tax Credit, Boosts Product Quality

Deborah R. Lark |

PORTLAND — With growing competition and an increasing focus on environmental stewardship, operators in our industry are consistently seeking ways to decrease cost, implement green initiatives and increase efficiency. Today’s customers have become increasingly savvy in seeking out service providers that can offer the lowest price and highest quality, and demonstrate environmental responsibility. This combination of qualities is not easily achieved.
Portland Hospital Service Corp. (PHSC) began its focus on achieving energy-efficient, low-cost operations six years ago with innovative equipment designs for its new plant here.
We have been able to cut water consumption by 54% with a unique tunnel design and natural-gas usage by 15% with high-efficiency dryers. That left electricity as the final stepping-stone to decrease utility cost and achieve responsible stewardship of natural resources and energy use.
Working with the Energy Trust of Oregon, PHSC went about replacing the 400W metal halide lamps throughout its 68,000-square-foot plant with high-efficiency T5 and T8 lamps, electronic ballasts and occupancy sensors.
With capital dollars always hard to come by, the rebate and tax incentives offered by Energy Trust were attractive. The project would cost about $30,000. However, after a $14,265 cash incentive and a $7,589 tax credit, PHSC’s total out-of-pocket cost to install the lighting was $8,100.
Additionally, energy consumption has been reduced by roughly 177,257 kilowatt-hours, saving approximately $12,000 annually.
An added plus is greatly improved lighting within the plant. After installation, employees soon began commenting about “actually being able to see stains.” Increased quality followed quickly. And, who would argue with an eight-month payback on a $30,000 project?
There is a wide range and seemingly complex maze of federal, state and local incentive programs. State agencies, working in concert with the U.S. Department of Energy, have become increasingly proactive in establishing regulatory policies on grants, loan programs, tax credits and rebates that encourage both renewable and efficient energy consumption.
Comprehensive and easy-to-understand information on these programs can be found at www.dsireusa.org. The site contains a national database of federal, state and local programs that may help your plant decrease utility costs, increase efficiency and green up your operations.
 

About the author

Deborah R. Lark

Portland Hospital Service Corp.

Chief Operating Officer

Deborah R. Lark is chief operating officer of Portland Hospital Service Corp., a cooperative healthcare laundry owned by Legacy Health System, Kaiser Permanente and Sisters of Providence. She originally prepared this article for members of the International Association of Healthcare Textile Management (IAHTM) as the association’s education officer.

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