Adventist HealthCare has saved millions by cutting energy costs and improving facility and real estate management.

Adventist HealthCare, Rockville, Md., will save an estimated $8 million over a three-year period through a comprehensive approach to energy purchasing and conservation, facilities maintenance and real estate management.

After signing on with building performance management company AtSite, Washington, D.C., in 2010, Adventist began to improve and consolidate business activities and decisions involving property management, energy and sustainability, capital projects and facility management.

"When we started this process … there was no consolidation in terms of purchasing anything — energy, supplies, services," says James G. Lee, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Adventist HealthCare.

AtSite worked with Adventist to establish a facility and real estate department, also known as FRED, to augment the new unified efforts. "It was through that entity that we began to look at how we could align and integrate best practices across the organization in order to begin looking for opportunities to reduce costs," says Davor Kapelina, CEO, AtSite.

Adventist leveraged its newly consolidated energy purchasing by participating in a reverse energy auction that locked in rates in 2010. The health care system is projected to save up to $1.25 million in electric power costs compared with previous rates.

In addition, Adventist earned the distinction of being the largest purchaser of green energy of any health care system in the United States, according to the Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. Adventist HealthCare now purchases nearly 15 percent of its electricity in the form of green energy supplied on the grid.

AtSite helped Adventist implement a building performance management system that provided data to enable the health care system to determine when and where it uses energy and how to reduce consumption, says Lee.

Adventist now has a standardized, formal, competitive bidding process for its ongoing construction and renovation projects that will save the health care system about $1 million annually.

With assistance from AtSite, Adventist also has improved its property management. Adventist saves about $640,000 annually in reduced lease fees and by collecting money owed by tenants, says Lee.