Fairbanks Energy Saves Mass General Hospital Money, Strengthens Energy Efficiency

By Rachel Leber

BOSTON — Fairbanks Energy Services, located in Hingham, Mass., announced on Feb. 7 that it has helped Boston-based Mass General Hospital (MGH) save 5 million kilowatt hours to date through a variety of energy efficiency projects. The partnership has resulted in multiple efficiency upgrades to MGH and a reported savings of $560,000 per year.

Fairbanks Energy’s engineering team has completed 22 LED lighting projects to date for Mass General Hospital, with additional efficiency improvements still to be made. MGH began their contract with Fairbanks Energy in 2014 under the company’s Strategic Energy Master Plan, which includes the installation of energy conservation projects that in addition to saving energy and helping the environment will also improve the conditions of patients and staff.

In an effort to optimize financial and energy savings through these numerous upgrades, Fairbanks Energy has secured a total of $727,000 in Eversource and National Grid utility incentives for MGH by engineering and implementing numerous LED lighting and advanced controls retrofits throughout many of the hospital’s buildings on its main campus, as well as other efficiency enhancements in its Boston-based facilities, according to a statement.

Since the contract began with Fairbanks Energy, a lighting and advanced controls retrofit at MGH’s Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care has been successfully completed. The project consisted of replacing 890 fluorescent fixtures with energy-efficient LED lighting fixtures. Through this LED lighting installation project, Fairbanks Energy was able to bring the wattage of existing fixtures from 90 watts down to 12, resulting in an overall decrease of 87 percent in energy used, according to a statement from Fairbanks Energy. Additionally, other renovations have been made in multiple areas of the hospital’s facilities: hallways, common areas, warehouse facilities, building entrances, exterior areas of buildings, research labs, administrative offices, and amenities such as cafeterias and cafes.

“We advised MGH to combine high and low payback areas together to accomplish two goals: enabling the hospitals chief financial officer to sign off on the ROI, while not neglecting areas that would be too unattractive on their own to pursue,” said Ross Fairbanks, chief operating officer, Fairbanks Energy Services, in a statement. “We also focused on incorporating integrated controls in the fixtures, as a controls-only project after LED implementation might not meet the ROI threshold. There are still several longer payback projects left on the table, however, as LED efficacies increase and their cost decreases, low-hanging fruit will continue to develop.”