Energy efficiency: Veolia at the bedside of two healthcare establishments in Buenos Aires

A 20% reduction in a hospital’s energy consumption within a year: Veolia has successfully achieved this feat for IADT hospital, relying on its Hubgrade hypervision center in Buenos Aires. By optimizing buildings’ energy performance, Veolia’s Hubgrade centers allow its clients to shrink both their energy bill and their environmental footprint. These results are winning over an increasing number of clients, such as the Favaloro Foundation, which — a year after IADT hospital —connected its university hospital to the Hubgrade center in the Argentinean capital in late 2018.
Published in the dossier of February 2019

More than a mere digital tool, Veolia has designed Hubgrade as a real energy performance control center capable of supervising and optimizing buildings’ consumption. Hubgrade centers have the distinct feature of combining human know-how — data analysis, auditing, systems expertise, etc. — with technology such as connected objects and artificial intelligence. They thus correct the slightest energy consumption drift and adjust equipment’s operating mode to obtain optimal performance. Since the creation of its first Hubgrade in 2010, Veolia now counts 22 worldwide, and three new centers will open in 2019.

An energy transition accelerator

The Hubgrade center in Buenos Aires was inaugurated in late 2017, two years after a record increase in electricity prices in Argentina. Energy savings have thus become a priority for the country’s citizens and companies looking to reduce their electricity bill. In the light of the electricity crisis and the energy transition (see boxed text), two hospitals (the Argentina Institute of Diagnosis and Treatment and the Favaloro Foundation university hospital) pinpointed Hubgrade as a way of making real savings without investing heavily in changing their equipment.

“IADT hospital, which has been a Veolia client since 1998, decided to renew its trust in us for a five-year period. This new agreement now extends the scope of Veolia’s activities to cover energy efficiency and includes the connection to Hubgrade,” explains Gustavo Calvi, Director of Industrial Services and Head of New Markets at Veolia Argentina.

Argentina in the face of climate change: assuming an ambitious responsibility

At the request of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Argentina shared its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in the wake of COP21. The goal is to reduce its current greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by 2030 (they are around 429 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent according to the latest readings). To meet this ambitious goal, the government intends to actively promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable forest management.

The different adaptation and mitigation measures put in place within the framework of the national climate change strategy (“Estrategia Nacional en Cambio Climático”) are coordinated by a dedicated entity: the governmental committee on climate change, which supervises the actions concretely implemented in the regions.

Not underestimating any energy savings

IADT hospital and the Favaloro Foundation were respectively connected to Hubgrade in Buenos Aires in December 2017 and November 2018. They join the twenty or so buildings in the city already connected to the control center.
For these two establishments, Veolia measures the buildings’ energy consumption in real time, hour by hour, in order to hunt down parasitic consumption: lights left on unnecessarily at night or at the weekend, heating start and stop times, etc. Simply redefining a timeframe in sync with the equipment’s functioning, for example from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. rather than 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., already represents significant savings. All without ever compromising the heating and cooling comfort owed to patients and medical personnel.
This constant monitoring to ensure good energy management of the building paves the way for better consumption regulation, preventing the risk of overconsumption. If necessary, precise targeting in the hospital enables Veolia technicians to intervene immediately, virtually in real time.

Making 20 to 25% energy savings per year… despite 30% growth in activity

“In 2018, for the first year of IADT hospital’s connection, Veolia reached the target it had set itself in the performance contract**: 20% energy savings and the stated goal of a 25% reduction in 2019. These results go hand in hand with a quality of service that offers our clients greater comfort and peace of mind,” explains Gustavo Calvi.

Connected since last November, the Favaloro Foundation university hospital has already reached the same level of energy savings of around 20%. Once again, Veolia is planning to achieve an average of 25% savings by 2019. These results are all the more remarkable given that these establishments’ activity has risen 30% over the same period!

Customized monitoring: a token of trust and customer loyalty

Thanks to Veolia’s Hubgrade, these two hospitals have joined the global network of green hospitals with a low carbon footprint. The tool’s ability to take into account how the buildings operate and match this data with external parameters such as the weather is what makes the difference. For example, Veolia’s teams are able to predict a building’s consumption throughout the year according to changes in the weather. The client has a daily overview of this consumption via detailed reports and access to a web portal where they can consult the energy savings made and the tasks carried out in complete transparency.

Over and above controlling costs and consumption, the reliability of the facilities is vital for these hospitals: the building must be able to function 24/7 without any power cuts compromising the care provided to patients.
This level of quality of service and responsiveness, combined with the efficiency of the services provided, is particularly high for these two healthcare establishments. And this is a growing trend: IADT hospital, an Argentinean medical institution founded in 1926, today counts 250 beds and is looking to grow over the next few years. Over 17,000 patients are hospitalized and 10,000 operations carried out there each year. The Favaloro Foundation welcomes 15,000 patients and carries out 2,000 organ transplants a year.

Raising public awareness on a daily basis

Beyond the smooth running of services, integrating a truly eco-friendly approach into the day-to-day habits of these hospitals is a way of sustaining the energy savings by encouraging staff to take concrete action. Explanatory signs displayed on the premises remind people of simple steps such as switching off lights, turning off taps and adjusting the heating in line with human presence. And because no savings should be overlooked, awareness-raising events are also organized once a month.

* Up to 15% energy savings without investment, simply by monitoring consumption.
** Veolia has committed to achieving a savings percentage, through the signature of an Energy performance contract. If this percentage is not reached at the term of the contract, Veolia will reimburse the discrepancy.