On the radar: Energy consumption in health care institutions

Thursday 9 January 2014

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EnerGQ-care, a new company from Groningen, is determined to reduce energy consumption in large care institutions throughout the north of the Netherlands. Involved are the UMCG and the Ronald McDonald house in Groningen as well as the Wilhemina hospital  and Vanboejen in Assen.

Co-director Ton van Ewijk is convinced to be able to cut about 10 percent of consumption. “The health care sector is more often lacking money. The savings in energy can be reinvested in care”, he claims.

The idea for the project derived from a study by TNO. There it was mentioned that care sector can save a hundred million euro with energy cuts. EnerGQ-care looks at how technical changes can lead to savings. Focus here is the staff, towards a more cautious behavior in regard to energy consumption. The tool to do so is called the i-CARE (Create Awareness Reduce Energy). This system in form of a small box is connected to a smart meter and router on the computer or tablet. By visualizing the energy consumption especially the staff in care institutions can be motivated to adjust their behavior.

Van Ewijk set up the company EnerGQ-care together with Triade, a daughter of the UMCG with the focus to trigger innovation in the health care sector. The municipality of Groningen subsidized the  proposal to approach care institutions. Van Ewijk is determined to take his system beyond the north of the Netherlands.