Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center (UMC) faced a problem common to many hospitals: how to replace aging, inefficient infrastructure with minimal capital investment.

The medical center needed a partner and found one in utility Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), headquartered in Newark, N.J., and its Hospital Efficiency Program.

The program enabled HackensackUMC to make necessary energy-efficiency upgrades through a two-phase project that recently concluded and included installation of three 1,500-ton chillers, LED lighting, cooling tower replacements and more.

“HackensackUMC is dedicated to providing our patients and their families, team members and our community with the safest, most environmentally-friendly campus,” said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of the Hackensack University Health Network. “This dedication has driven us to develop new partnerships with companies, such as PSE&G, to optimize our sustainability efforts. We are proud of the numerous accomplishments of the Hospital Efficiency Program, which have not only updated our campus facilities and reduced our carbon footprint, but have also reduced costs for the medical center.”

The PSE&G program provided up-front funding for the entire project, eliminating the need for capital from the medical center. The program includes a buy-down incentive for eligible energy-efficiency measures, coupled with financing at a zero percent interest rate.

Annual utility cost savings are projected to be $1.06 million. The annual energy savings are estimated at 4,218,984 kWh and 217,693 therms.

The project was done in two phases with Phase 1 completed in 2013. The first phase included:

  • Installation of a 1,500-ton chiller and related pump to replace old equipment.
  • A facilitywide retrofit of more than 9,600 lighting fixtures with efficient fluorescent lighting in the medical center and LED lighting in the parking garages.
  • Upgrades of the lighting controls, including the installation of more than 1,100 occupancy sensors.
  • Optimization for greater monitoring, control and efficiency of the natural gas boilers.

Phase 2 of the project includes:

  • Upgrading the main chiller plant, consisting of the installation of two additional 1,500-ton chillers as well as replacing cooling towers, pumps, header piping and controls.
  • Connecting the research building to the main chiller plant, thus eliminating the stand-alone rooftop air conditioning units.

The combined investment of both phases is estimated at $10.2 million, according to the medical center. HackensackUMC will repay approximately 43 percent of the total project cost through the PSE&G program’s on-bill repayment feature at zero percent interest. PSE&G’s program provides funding for the remaining amount.

Since 2009, 33 hospitals have made energy-efficiency improvements through PSE&G’s Hospital Efficiency Program. The Alliance to Save Energy, Washington, D.C., recently presented PSE&G with the Star of Energy Efficiency Award for the utility’s efforts to make New Jersey hospitals and apartment buildings more energy efficient. The Alliance promotes the use of efficient, healthy energy.

HackensackUMC, a nonprofit teaching and research hospital located in Bergen County, N.J., isthe largest provider of inpatient and outpatient services in the state. It is the flagship hospital of Hackensack University Health Network