Energy benchmarking for senior living communities and residential care facilities
Turn your energy dollars into healthcare dollars
There are almost 11,400 senior living communities and residential care facilities in Canada, which account for about 25.8 million gigajoules of energy use per year.Footnote 1 As energy costs continue to rise, that energy use represents an increasingly large percentage of overhead costs. Energy efficiency is key to reversing that trend, helping senior living communities and residential care facilities spend less money on energy so they can invest more into resident care.
Benchmarking your facility’s energy consumption with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager® is a good place to start to help make smart business decisions – decisions that will improve your energy performance and save your facility money in the long run. Benchmarking conducted as part of the City of Toronto’s Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plan found that the long-term care facilities studied had an average energy savings potential of 16%.Footnote 2 Through energy benchmarking, not only will you gain a better understanding of how your facility’s energy performance ranks nationally, but you will also be able to use the benchmarking data to assess your energy management goals over time, and identify strategic opportunities for savings and recognition opportunities.
Collect the data you need to benchmark your senior living community or residential care facility
The ENERGY STAR Score for Senior Living Communities and Residential Care Facilities applies to facilities that provide permanent rehabilitative, restorative, and/or ongoing skilled nursing care to patients or residents in need of assistance with activities of daily living. To obtain a 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, in addition to your facility’s basic tombstone information, you need the following building data:
- Gross floor area
- Number of workers on the main shift
- Licensed bed capacity
- Weather and climate (using heating and cooling degree days, based on postal code)
- Percent of the building that is cooled
- Specific energy billing information for each building for all purchased energy. You will need to begin with at least 12 consecutive months for each energy source and update regularly with monthly usage data.
Note that the above information is not required to start benchmarking. You can start using the tool to track your energy performance no matter how much data you have. However, in order to obtain the 1-100 score or an energy use intensity value, you need the details above.
Apply for certification
If your facility earns a score of 75 or higher and meets certain other criteria, it could be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification. Learn more about certification and how you can apply.
Natural Resources Canada resources
- Canadian ENERGY STAR scores
- ENERGY STAR certification for commercial and institutional buildings in Canada
- Benchmarking technical information
- What is building energy benchmarking?
- Technical reference document for senior living communities and residential care facilities (PDF, 571 KB)
- The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care
- HealthCare Energy Leaders Ontario
- Health Care Energy Leadership Program: An initiative of My Sustainable Canada and the Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care whose purpose is to promote energy efficiency at health care facilities across Canada.
- Toronto and Region Conservation for The Living City’s Greening Health Care
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s page on Healthcare resources
- Argentum’s page on Energy Management in Senior Care Communities
The ENERGY STAR and PORTFOLIO MANAGER names and the ENERGY STAR symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada.
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