Lower your summer energy bill

Window

Open windows
On cooler days and nights, turn off your air conditioner and open your windows. Use a fan; it does not use as much electricity as an air conditioning compressor.

Use ceiling fans to cool your house
The most efficient ceiling fans cost as little as 30 cents a month if used eight hours a day. A  window air conditioner can cost 50 times as much as a fan. Ceiling fans will keep the air moving and allow you to keep the thermostat setting higher because moving air feels cooler.

Provide shading for your air conditioning condenser
Your central air conditioner condenser works more efficiently in a cooler environment. Provide shade around your air conditioner to reduce your cooling costs by nearly 3 percent.

Dry a load of laundry on the clothesline
Thirty years ago most clothes were dried outside on the line. Your electric dryer is a large energy user and consumes about 30 cents of electricity per load. During nice weather, try drying some loads the old fashioned way – on the clothesline. It also has the added benefit of a fresh smell for your laundry.

Utilize moisture sensing technology on your electric dryer
Most new electric dryers have sensors that can detect the moisture level in your clothes and shut off the cycle when they are dry.  This saves energy costs when compared to a timed dry cycle which is likely to waste energy after clothes are dry.

Plant trees for shade
Deciduous trees—those that produce leaves in the spring and lose them in the fall—shade your house from the sun during warmer days and let the sun warm your house on cooler days. Shading your home could save up to 8 percent on cooling costs.

Change your air conditioning filter
Clean or replace your central air conditioner filter monthly during the cooling season to improve the efficiency and extend the life of the unit.

Raise your thermostat setting
You can save $25 or more each month during the summer by raising your thermostat temperature from 72 to 78 degrees.

Learn about other ways to save energy at www.gundersenenvision.org.

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Envision can help with building design

New Hospital const misc 20130619 17

Gundersen Health System’s new hospital

When building new or remodeling existing space, sustainability opportunities exist in everything from energy efficiency and using renewable energy to building with environmentally friendly materials to recycling construction waste.

Being thoughtful from the start of design can help prevent past environmental practices from showing up in your new facility. In fact, 75 percent of a building’s life-cycle costs are committed in the design phase, so it is important to get it right the first time.

How can Gundersen Envision help you?

We can help you find the hidden sustainability opportunities that exist when designing a new building or remodeling.

Why is Gundersen Envision qualified to help you?

Gundersen Health System recently completed several major building projects on our main campus, including a new hospital. Some of our notable achievements in building design include:

  • Energy efficiency in the top 1 percent for hospitals in the Midwest.
  • Construction recycling and reuse rates exceeding 93 percent.
  • Multiple LEED-certified facilities.
  • Use of internal standards for energy efficient design on a variety of new construction and renovation project.
  • Experience with benchmarking facility performance.

More about building design

Contact Envision at envision@gundersenhealth.org for more information.

Summer energy-saving tips

Window

Open windows on cool days and nights
On cool days and nights, turn off your air conditioner and open your windows. A fan may also help and does not use as much electricity as an air conditioning compressor. Don’t open windows when the outside temperature is warmer than the inside of your house.

Use ceiling fans to cool your house
The most efficient ceiling fans cost as little as 30 cents a month if used eight hours a day. A  window air conditioner can cost 50 times as much as a fan. Ceiling fans will keep the air moving and allow you to keep the thermostat setting higher because moving air feels cooler.

Provide shading for your air conditioning condenser
Your central air conditioner condenser works more efficiently in a cooler environment. Provide shade around your air conditioner to reduce your cooling costs by nearly 3 percent.

Dry a load of laundry on the clothesline
Thirty years ago most clothes were dried outside on the line. Your electric dryer is a large energy user and consumes about 30 cents of electricity per load. During nice weather, try drying some loads the old fashioned way – on the clothesline. It also has the added benefit of a fresh smell for your laundry.

Utilize moisture sensing technology on your electric dryer
Most new electric dryers have sensors that can detect the moisture level in your clothes and shut off the cycle when they are dry.  This saves energy costs when compared to a timed dry cycle which is likely to waste energy after clothes are dry.

Plant trees for shade
Deciduous trees—those that produce leaves in the spring and lose them in the fall—shade your house from the sun during warmer days and let the sun warm your house on cooler days. Shading your home could save up to 8 percent on cooling costs.

Change your air conditioning filter
Clean or replace your central air conditioner filter monthly during the cooling season to improve the efficiency and extend the life of the unit.

Raise your thermostat setting
You can save $25 or more each month during the summer by raising your thermostat temperature from 72 to 78 degrees.

Learn about other ways to save energy at www.gundersenenvision.org.

Gundersen receives Practice Greenhealth environmental awards

For the ninth consecutive year, Gundersen Health System has been awarded the most prestigious environmental achievement award offered by Practice Greenhealth, the nation’s leading membership and networking organization for institutions in the healthcare community that have made a commitment to sustainable, eco-friendly practices.

Practice Greenhealth’s Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award is given to healthcare facilities that exemplify environmental excellence and are setting the highest standards for environmental practices in healthcare.

Gundersen also received Circle of Excellence awards for outstanding performance in four categories:

1. Leadership Circle – The Leadership Circle represents the top performers with a strong infrastructure supporting a long term commitment to healthier environments through committee structure, reporting, data tracking, communication and education.

2. Less Waste Circle – Hospitals in this circle have excelled in waste prevention and material handling, demonstrated through high recycling rates, low regulated medical waste generation and low rates of total waste generated per patient day.

3. Energy Circle – The Energy Circle celebrates hospitals that are leading the sector in energy efficiency. Leaders generally have energy managers and written programs to reduce energy use over time. They are tracking energy use intensity, ENERGY STAR performance metrics, and share details on project implementation and staff engagement strategies.

4. Climate Circle – The Climate Circle highlights visionary hospitals taking the lead on tracking and measurement of CO2 emissions, and overall climate program development. Hospitals in this Circle demonstrate an understanding of the health impacts of climate change and are taking action to mitigate those impacts and educate their staff and communities on playing a supporting role.

Gundersen’s energy program, Envision, is leading the country in healthcare sustainability and has the data and documentation to prove its success. “Gundersen prioritizes green practices in our day-to-day operations as an organizational imperative,” said Jeff Rich, executive director of Envision. “It’s an honor to be recognized for our commitment to the health and safety of our patients, staff, environment, and the community at large.”

Gundersen’s energy team wants to help other organizations achieve similar success. Take the first step by scheduling an energy check-up, and find out how you can reduce your energy use by 10% in just one year.

Tips for living green everyday

  1. Plant an herb garden
  2. Switch all your lightbulbs to CFLs (or at least switch a few)
  3. Create a homemade compost bin for $15
  4. Switch one appliance to an energy efficient model (look for the “energy star” label)
  5. Use reusable bags, not disposable
  6. Buy an inexpensive reusable water bottle and stop buying plastic disposable bottles
  7. Watch The Story of Bottled Water, a short movie about the bottled water phenomena
  8. Wash laundry in cold water instead of hot
  9. Turn off lights when you leave the room
  10. Use natural light whenever possible
  11. Drive the speed limit and combine all your errands for the week in one trip (better yet, walk or ride a bike to do errands that are two miles or closer)
  12. Support your local economy and shop at your farmer’s market
  13. Turn off your computer completely at night
  14. Research whether you can sign up for green power from your utility company
  15. Pay your bills online

Learn more about environmental sustainability at www.gundersenenvision.org.

cleaner air

Envision can help with building design

New Hospital const misc 20130619 17

Gundersen Health System’s new hospital

When building new or remodeling existing space, sustainability opportunities exist in everything from energy efficiency and using renewable energy to building with environmentally friendly materials to recycling construction waste.

Being thoughtful from the start of design can help prevent past environmental practices from showing up in your new facility. In fact, 75 percent of a building’s life-cycle costs are committed in the design phase, so it is important to get it right the first time.

How can Gundersen Envision help you?

We can help you find the hidden sustainability opportunities that exist when designing a new building or remodeling.

Why is Gundersen Envision qualified to help you?

Gundersen Health System recently completed several major building projects on our main campus, including a new hospital. Some of our notable achievements in building design include:

  • Energy efficiency in the top 1 percent for hospitals in the Midwest.
  • Construction recycling and reuse rates exceeding 93 percent.
  • Multiple LEED-certified facilities.
  • Use of internal standards for energy efficient design on a variety of new construction and renovation project.
  • Experience with benchmarking facility performance.

More about building design

Contact Envision at envision@gundersenhealth.org for more information.

Nursing and climate change: You can make an impact

Lightbulb charge

Earlier this month Tom Thompson, Gundersen Health System’s sustainability coordinator, and Phoebe Breed, RN, Surgical and Digestive Care Unit, presented at the all RN/LPN staff meeting about Gundersen’s nursing and climate change grant.

The goal of the winning grant proposal is to apply some of the same sustainability and environmental practices nurses use at work (through the guidance of Envision) in their homes to broaden the impact Gundersen’s nurses can make on the environment.

Here are suggestions for implementation at home.

  • Unplug older appliances or use a power strip for a more convenient “turn off” option.
  • Turn off the lights when you don’t need them! One light on for eight hours each day can cost up to $20 in one year.
  • Change your light bulbs. You can save $135 in the lifetime of an LED Energy Star certified light bulb compared to incandescent light bulbs.

See how you can make a difference.