Hospitals use 836 trillion BTUs of energy every year--more than2.5 times the energy intensity and carbon dioxide emissions ofcommercial office buildings. Another metric that illustrates theirhuge energy consumption and subsequent pollution: US hospitalsproduce more than 30 pounds of CO2 emissions per square foot. Theyalso spend more than$5 billion annually on energy, often equaling1% to 3% of a typical hospital's operating budget or an estimated15% of profits.

The alliance hopes to address these issues by providinghospitals and healthcare organizations access to DOE's resourcesand technical expertise as well as its national laboratories todevelop programs to lower energy usage.

This is the third industry energy alliance DOE has launched,under its Net-Zero Commercial Building Initiative. Earlier thisyear, it enlisted several large retail stores to form the RetailerEnergy Alliance. Last month it introduced the Commercial RealEstate Energy Alliance. The Net-Zero Energy Commercial BuildingInitiative was mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act(EISA 2007), which authorizes the Department to collaborate withthe private sector, DOE's national laboratories, other federalagencies, and non-governmental organizations to advance greenbuildings.

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Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy has been writing about commercial real estate at for more than ten years, covering the capital markets, the Mid-Atlantic region and national topics. She's a nerd so favorite examples of the former include accounting standards, Basel III and what Congress is brewing.