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Guyana's Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, talks energy efficiency with audit leader Timothy Janos at Georgetown Public Hospital. Guyana's Prime Minister, Samuel Hinds, talks energy efficiency with audit leader Timothy Janos at Georgetown Public Hospital. Ujjwal Bhattacharjee

Energy Efficiency Audit Training at Guyana's Georgetown Hospital

An energy audit at Guyana's Georgetown Public Hospital doubles as a training exercise as part of IHFI's efforts to expand energy efficiency and institutional capacity in the country.

Georgetown Public Hospital, in Georgetown, Guyana, is estimated to spend around US$180,000 per month on electricity and diesel. Energy costs are high, upwards of US$0.30/kWh for electricity and US$3.86/gal for diesel. As rising energy costs eat an increasingly large chunk out of Georgetown Public's operating budget, the hospital's greatest resource, it seems, may be the energy it is already paying for. Energy efficiency has taken center stage at the hospital recently, when a team from USAID's Improving Health Facility Infrastructure (IHFI) project, managed by Tetra Tech, and the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) led engineers and technicians with the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) and other local institutions in an investment-grade energy audit of the facility. The audit itself identified opportunities for energy savings at the hospital while the experience gained through the audit will be leveraged to carry out similar improvements throughout the country.

Georgetown Public is a good candidate for energy efficiency interventions; it has a stable, but expensive energy supply, meaning that priorities aren't on getting electricity, but on paying less for it. In hospitals energy is a matter of health and safety; backup power must be available; sensitive medical equipment must have clean, even power. Hospital energy systems are more redundant and expensive than those in commercial buildings so by lowering electricity loads Georgetown Public is extending the capacity of its backup systems to cover more computers, X-rays, incubators or other medical equipment.

The energy audit undertaken at Georgetown Public Hospital was led by Mr. Timothy B. Janos, Chairman of the Certified Energy Manager Certification Board and Director of Special Projects for AEE. AEE's long history as a leader in the energy efficiency industry and Mr. Janos' extensive experience in the field were key to ensuring that the hospital's energy audit was not only exhaustive and accurate, but that international best practices were followed and conveyed to the training participants. The audit covered all aspects of facility energy supply and use while identifying opportunities for savings. Major components include: current electricity and diesel consumption and cost; weekday and weekend electricity load profiles; energy end-use distribution; building performance indicators; complete inventories of lighting, HVAC and plug-load equipment; and, a listing of energy management opportunities (EMOs) and their corresponding payback periods.

The energy audit was followed up by a two day workshop which saw the involvement of representatives from the Guyanese government, as well as the industrial, commercial and banking sectors. The workshop was designed to be a hands-on experience, using the results of the hospital audit to exemplify the critical components of an energy audit. Along with discussions and demonstrations of energy audit fundamentals, like analyzing consumption data and identifying ESOs, field activities, like inventorying end-use equipment around the hospital, were used to develop a first-hand understanding of the audit process. The workshop proved to be an important step in exposing a diverse group of stakeholders in Guyana to energy efficiency measures.

The full energy audit results for Georgetown Public Hospital will be released soon. A promotional flier for the event can be found here.

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