Saving energy in medical offices – easier than you think

Saving energy significantly reduces expenses in medical offices. In addition, the savings measures will benefit the environment and the climate. With the right approach, they can cut up to 80 percent of their practice electricity use overall. More than half of energy costs in independent medical and dental practices are due to electricity costs. Exorbitant increases in electricity and gas prices in 2022 are forcing medical professionals and therapists to save energy in medical offices. In the following article, we provide tips and suggestions on how you can effectively save energy in your practice.

What is the recent increase in energy costs a result of??

Energy prices have become inflationary compared to the previous year. Producer prices rose steeply, with natural gas increasing in price by 163.8 percent in July 2022 compared with the same month a year earlier, and electricity by 125.4 percent. In August, this trend continued, with heating oil up 111.5 percent, natural gas up 83.8 percent, and electricity up 16.6 percent. Since energy prices in Germany were already high due to taxes and levies, an uncertain situation in the energy markets led to further price increases.

During the Corona pandemic, supply chains were disrupted, businesses were idle, and less was consumed. This congestion gradually cleared in 2022, resulting in higher energy demand worldwide. This met with a tightening supply, the situation worsened by the war in Ukraine sparked by Russia. Energy infrastructure was destroyed and the Western world imposed sanctions on Russia. These steps have led to a severely limited supply of gas and oil, driving up prices. In Germany, the reduced supply has a particularly serious impact, as German production is heavily dependent on Russian raw materials. Russian gas cannot be substituted quickly and easily. Therefore, a significant easing in energy prices is not expected in the following months either.

Why does saving energy pay off, especially for physicians in private practice??

Physicians in private practice act independently and on their own account as entrepreneurs. Higher energy prices reduce their income, the profit of their practice. As a result of the extraordinary rise in energy prices, the additional payments for ancillary costs can be so high in the next year that they overburden practice owners financially. It is possible that the physician's salary will be lower than in the previous year, or that loans taken out cannot be repaid on time due to a lack of liquidity. In order to prevent this, the costs must always be kept in view and the energy consumption must be monitored. Energy saving in medical practices becomes a duty.

How can doctors and therapists save energy??

In practices, there are many ways to reduce energy costs. This ranges from small, everyday measures that can be very effective together to the consideration of replacing heating or medical equipment with energy-saving systems. When investing in the practice, the focus must always be on the economic viability, from which useful life the saved energy costs are profitable in relation to the acquisition costs of the equipment. For example, physicians can consider the purchase of a heat pump. A heat pump extracts heat from the environment, i.e. the air, the ground or groundwater, and makes it usable through an internal circuit before it is introduced into the practice's heat distribution and storage system. A heat pump can replace an old gas heater, saving 30 percent of the energy, and even more for old oil heaters. Depending on the heat source, the initial cost is approx. 15.000 to 30.000 Euro. Doctors for whom this expense is not worthwhile can also rent various heating models. The energy service provider takes care of provision, installation and maintenance. The owner of the practice pays a fixed monthly fee as well as the energy consumption.

Replacing and upgrading inefficient appliances, instruments, light fixtures, or heating systems yields significant savings in energy costs. Practice owners can also switch to more environmentally conscious energy sources, such as photovoltaics, or have exterior walls insulated. However, the majority of commercial practices are located in rented premises, for which tenants are dependent on the cooperation of their landlords when it comes to heating, hot water or energy-related building renovations. Practice tenants have a variety of energy-saving options at their disposal.

What measures are involved in saving energy in medical practices??

Many small energy saving measures bring a big benefit on the bottom line. First of all, it is worthwhile to make all employees aware of the need to save energy in medical practices, so that they take care of their own accord to use energy sparingly. For example, practice staff can make sure all appliances and lights are turned off and windows are closed in the evenings. Air-conditioning and ventilation systems consume a lot of electricity. Regular maintenance and filter cleaning should be a matter of course. Have these systems optimized by qualified personnel and thereby reduce your energy costs considerably.

Other ways to save energy in medical practices include:

  • Buying an electricity meter to find out which are the electricity guzzlers in practice
  • Shut down PCs and electrical appliances instead of putting them on stand-by
  • leave only refrigerators and servers on overnight
  • Only operate medical equipment when fully loaded
  • Replace conventional lighting with LED lamps
  • Installing motion detectors or daylight sensors with a dimming function in rooms that are little used
  • Have timers installed in circulation lines for hot water
  • Reduce room temperature by means of thermostats after working hours
  • Install contact switches that reduce heating output when windows are open
  • Ventilate briefly and vigorously at regular intervals and do not constantly tilt windows
  • Replace older appliances with low energy efficiency, new appliances are less energy intensive.

Additional tips for reducing energy costs:

  1. Energy-saving potential can also be realized by regularly comparing and switching electricity and gas suppliers. Gas provider to tap. A tariff comparison can pay off, the change formalities are minor when using Internet portals. To compare, they only need the current annual consumption of your practice.
  2. To avoid being surprised by skyrocketing utility costs next year, increase their prepayments on operating costs. This works by depositing the monthly amount calculated by you into a permanently available account, for example a call money. So they cushion the burden of the high service charge bill.
  3. Individual practices and groups of practices can join forces with other commercial consumers such as pharmacies, therapists or laboratories and even companies from other sectors to form an energy purchasing group. They cut thereby more favorably than with an individual tariff. Electricity suppliers charge lower prices to customers with a larger demand than to individual end users.

Who helps to evaluate energy saving in medical practices?

For large joint practices, clinics and larger pharmacies, it is worthwhile to involve an energy consultant, who will look for weaknesses and potential savings. In the case of small practices and pharmacies, as well as individual practices, a competent physician consulting service can help with regard to energy saving in medical practices. We have an overview of what individual specialist groups typically consume on average in terms of energy and which costs are generally too high in practices. Our experienced medical consultants are familiar with the figures of a medical practice. In the commercial area you can trust in our competent and neutral advice. For more than 35 years we have specialized in business management analyses (BWA's), annual financial statements as well as balance sheets, convince yourself of this on our website: Business management consulting.

We make it transparent where you stand in comparison to your specialist group, how you can identify problems in your cost accounting at an early stage and what reserves you have to tap into. Get in touch with us to improve your economic balance sheet. Arrange a consultation with our experts, you can reach us at: Contact:inside.

Overview of important energy-saving measures in medical practices

The idea of saving energy in medical practices is by no means new; even in the past, energy costs reduced the turnover of a practice by at least 1 or 2 percent. In the coming years, however, the prices for natural gas and heating oil, which have risen enormously due to the current crises, threaten to cause much greater losses in practice profits. That underlines that physicians:inside must save energy in orders of magnitude, in order not to pay more than necessary or to become even in liquidity difficulties. Owners of medical practices invest in environmentally friendly heating systems or insulation, which pay for themselves in long-term savings. Information and activation of practice staff lead internally to increased awareness of energy-saving measures.

Practice tenant:inside focus on the replacement of lighting, medical equipment and equipment. New equipment usually has a higher energy efficiency class than old equipment. One focus of energy optimization, for example, is air conditioning and ventilation systems, which offer up to 30 percent savings potential through regular adjustment, maintenance and cleaning. The energy consumption of a medical practice depends on its local and individual conditions, as well as on the affiliation of the physician to a certain specialist group. Our medical advisory service knows the share of energy costs in the total costs of the specialist groups from the analysis of countless BWAs. A consultation is worthwhile for them, because they retain full cost control, pay less utility costs and protect our climate at the same time.

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