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Helping Hershey Medical Center Increase its Efficiency

26 Apr 2021

Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center must be able to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, including during extreme weather. The facility handles more than 23,000 surgical procedures and sees nearly 64,000 emergency room visits annually. It all adds up to nearly 87,000 patients per year.

Hershey Medical Center is constantly working to build an environment that supports the work of its health care professionals and other employees, as well as exemplary care for patients. “The importance of an efficient and affordable energy system cannot be overstated,” Penn State Health’s Marvin W. Smith, PE, said.

As part of a series of investments in energy efficiency, UGI worked with Hershey Medical Center on the installation of a combined heat and power (CHP) system in 2018. Fueled by natural gas delivered by UGI, the CHP system produces electricity, captures heat that would otherwise be wasted and distributes it for sterilization and space heating and cooling.

The system is saving the Center approximately $2.5 million per year and providing cost predictability. Dollars saved support Penn State Health’s mission of providing patients with excellent, compassionate and equitable care; educating and training health care  professionals;  and advancing evidence-based medical innovation through research and discovery. These cost savings were a driving factor in the Center’s decision to convert to the CHP system.

Producing electricity on-site has also reduced the Center’s carbon footprint, by about 23,469 tons of CO2 per year.

“Our reliable and cost-saving energy system is making our medical center more environmentally friendly and improving air quality in our region,” Smith said.

Smith explains that Hershey Medical Center’s reliable energy system provides one less thing for employees to worry about, enabling them to focus on core missions of patient care, research and education.

UGI looks forward to helping additional Pennsylvania hospitals adopt CHP applications and develop other efficiency projects. Moreover, we’re committed to continuing to provide affordable energy to help all customers recover from the impact of COVID-19.