The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released recommendations that, through use of design and technology that’s available right here, right now, would lead to large hospitals that consume 50% less energy than the “typical” hospital of today.

Now, anyone involved in healthcare will know that there’s no such thing as a “typical” hospital, but I decided to do a rough (rough!) comparison between UHN and a “typical” hospital in Chicago (hey, I would have loved to compare to a “typical” Hamilton or Brantford hospital, but it’s an American report).

The good news is that UHN is already using (roughly!) 40% less energy than “typical” hospitals in the Windy City. The not so good news is that even though UHN is more energy efficient than a “typical” Chicago hospital, Chicago is home to the Stanley Cup champions and…well…we’ve got the Leafs. The even better news is that it looks like UHN could still become 15-20% more efficient than we already are, which would mean around $3 million less spent on utilities each year, and $3 million more to spend on our patients.

A lofty goal, and definitely something to aim for…though my first goal is to make it through the report; I kind of tailed off at about page 80 of 188…anyone who wants to read the entire report and write me a book report can find it at