Green-conscious Saskatoon Health Region staff cringe when they see lights on in a room no one is using. They crumble at the sight of a leaking faucet. They understand that all these things waste energy and add to the costs of operating Health Region and affiliate facilities.

Utility costs across the Region exceed $11million annually. Credible research suggests that five per cent or more of this amount can be saved on an annual basis changing the behaviour of the people who work in the building. “Given our budget situation the Region needs to recoup this five percent,” says Grant Sommerfeld, Director, Facilities & Engineering Services. “I am asking for help.”

Sommerfeld recently issued a challenge to all staff and physicians to take simple steps to reduce energy consumption to help save money.

“I know we can do this,” he adds. “Several summers ago a crisis emerged at Royal University Hospital regarding the chillers during an extremely hot summer. We lowered our consumption dramatically through changed behaviour and we avoided the sterilization and surgery cancellations that befell our counterparts in other health regions.”

“I am also asking our colleagues in Housekeeping and Security Services to help in turning off appropriate lights at night, reporting water leaks and so on.”
Sommerfeld wants to ensure the Region is doing what it can to find cost savings in energy consumption. His department is offering a formal training program that provides information and on how to reduce energy consumption. The program is available by request through Sommerfeld or Sustainability Coordinator Jocelyn Orb. Sommerfeld also invites ideas for further steps that can be taken to reduce costs.

“It all helps and the small reductions quickly lead to significant and relatively painless savings!”

How are you conserving energy at home or at work? Leave your comments here.