(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – The Ministry of Health will soon reap tangible saving from energy consumption techniques at its health facilities via an Energy Benchmarking tool provided by the Pan American Health Organization.
St. Lucia is the first Caribbean country to benefit from an Energy Benchmarking Tool newly created by USAID Caribbean Clean Energy Programme (CARCEP) for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). PAHO plans to introduce this tool throughout the Caribbean. John Marcocchio, is the Energy Efficiency Promotion Specialist with CARCEP.
“The Energy Benchmarking Tool is a web based tool, it’s a dynamic tool and it’s a modeling tool. So the facility managers are able to input their data with regards to energy consumption. Energy in the form of electricity, LPG, Diesel, medical gases and water, so they can track their consumption, see how their consumption compares to a baseline data also to other facilities in the region and identify any problem areas that they may have within facility so they can begin addressing those problems.”
Marcocchio highlighted the importance of this tool due to the impact high fuel costs are having on operating budgets of health facilities throughout the Caribbean. The tool will guide and direct facility mangers on ways of reducing their energy consumption.
PAHO is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the saving gained is redirected to healthcare and staff wellbeing.
“We don’t want the money to go back to the consolidated fund. The high percentage of the operating budgets go to energy consumption, we want those redirected to patient care. That’s why USAID’s involved, that’s why I am involved. I have been most impressed by PAHO’s efforts in the Caribbean region to assist with disaster mitigation and reduction in operating cost.”
PAHO’s Smart Healthcare Facilities Project is now in seven Caribbean countries namely Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada, Jamaica, Belize, Guyana and St. Lucia. Clemens Buter is the Planning and Operations Advisor for PAHO’s Smart Hospitals Project.
“It is extremely important that we reduce the negative impacts on climate that’s why we focus on the green aspect of this project. We are extremely happy with the support from USAID, we their efforts for us to have a good insight on the cost of the energy, water, fuel and medical gases and hopefully we can use that money then to conduct savings and to maintain the health centres.”
A two day workshop was organized to train facility managers in the efficient use and understanding of the Energy Benchmarking Tool. Workshop participant Sylli Valcin said she plans to fully implement the training and tools provided from this workshop.
“When I go back to my centre what I plan to do first and foremost is to introduce the draft tool to my coworkers. There is a little video on there so I will show them the little video. Moving forward I can help them understand the tool a little better so it will be a team effort in entering the data on a daily or monthly basis.”
The Energy Benchmarking Tool is designed specifically to deal with the realities of medical facilities in the Caribbean from the smallest to largest. The tool is not designed for a typical residential or business application. CARCEP has created a similar tool for the hotel sector.