Facility Management staff work tirelessly to increase energy efficiency in hospitals across the country. Not only does this effort lower the overall cost of operating a 24/7 facility, but it also helps reduce the impact health care facilities have on the environment. Sadly, organizations can only improve their systems so much before they have to look to their staff and building occupants for that extra few inches to achieve success. Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg did exactly that by pitting staff against each other in the #Battle of the Kilowatts.
The Battle of the Kilowatts program is designed to challenge staff in buildings of similar use profiles (e.g. office, clinical, mixed) to save the most energy over a two-month period. Along with energy consumption, random spot checks took place over the challenge period to get an inside look at what behaviours staff were undertaking. During spot check and email check-ins staff were reminded to turn out the lights when they were not in the room, shut down computers at night, unplug unused electronics (including single-brew coffee machines), put printers and photocopiers on sleep mode, wear sweaters in place of space heaters, and use task lighting wherever possible.
In addition, staff were encourage to spread the word to their coworkers, create team emails with energy saving tips and create a bit of competition between the competing buildings – yes, even friendly trash talking was encouraged! At the end of the challenge, all participants received a small token of appreciation for all their hard work at a wrap-up party. The winners were given a champion banner, which they could proudly display at the entrance to their building for all to see until the next champion was crowned.
Overall, the winning buildings were chosen based on energy reduction and on their scores achieved during the random spot checks. In 2015, the two winning buildings (over two rounds of competition) achieved a 6% average energy reduction. By monitoring the energy consumption of the challenge buildings, facility management staff was able to observe and address any anomalies in the building operation. Staff were also encouraged to bring forward questions and concerns about lighting and heating controls in their area which the facility staff answered at the wrap-up party at the end of the competition. The challenge was a great vehicle to engage staff in the participating buildings and also encourage facility staff to take a closer look at how each building operates. In 2016, #HSC Winnipeg hopes to expand the program into the larger clinical buildings.
|ROUND 1||ROUND 2|
|Building||Finance||Isabel M. Stewart &
|Building Use||Open area offices, common areas||Offices, classrooms,
|Energy Reduction||Finance won with a 7% reduction||Harry Medovy House won with a 5% reduction|