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Medical Center Earns Energy Star Certification


Sonora Regional Medical Center is one of just 229 hospitals in the nation to earn Energy Star certification, a designation awarded to commercial buildings that meet strict energy performance standards – using less energy, operating less expensively and causing fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their peers.

The Medical Center began tracking electrical and fuel consumption in 2012 and started implementing several upgrades to operate more efficiently. The parking lot lights were changed from 400 to 150 watts while maintaining output and by the end of May work will be completed on upgrading all interior lighting from inefficient incandescent and less-efficient fluorescent to all highly efficient LED fixtures.

Other work that has contributed to the Medical Center’s improvements in energy efficiency include installing a digital energy management system that controls the boilers, hot water, chilled water for air conditioning, humidification, thermostats, and other key systems. Advanced modulating fuel oil burners are also saving the Medical Center up to 200 gallons of fuel oil per day.

The overall improvements are estimated to save the Medical Center $250,000 in energy costs per year. The cost to install all of the upgrades took less than 12 months to be paid back in energy savings.

Sonora Regional Medical Center is the first Adventist Health facility to earn Energy Star certification. Other AH facilities are actively striving towards this goal with more facilities expected to earn the designation next year.

“This achievement represents a lot of years and a lot of work,” says Allen Oxender, Director of Plant Services for Sonora Regional Medical Center. “This is one of the highest awards we can receive in facilities management and we are really proud of our achievement.” In addition to the plant services team who worked on installing the energy efficient systems, representatives from PG&E, Johnson Control and Jones Lang LaSalle helped with consulting on the projects and preparing the audit package that ultimately earned the Energy Star certification.

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