The healthcare industry is unsurprisingly one of the biggest and most profitable markets in the entire world. There are over 1 billion visits to physicians offices every year in the United States alone. However, for the individual medical practices and doctors offices that make up this industry, the cost of running one of these healthcare facilities can actually be quite expensive.
In addition to equipment, technology, staffing and other expenses, medical offices also need to pay a great deal in terms of energy costs in order to keep their practices up and running.
This means running a medical practice is about more than just treating patients and caring for others, it also means being able to expense for things like monthly electricity bills.
The average rent for a physician’s office can be $15,000 a month or higher, with the average energy bills costing as much as $2,000 per month depending on the size of the practice. While there is not much that most offices can do about some of their overhead expenses, there are things that can be done to lower monthly electricity bills in many doctors offices around the country.
Hospital Energy Audits
Utility audits are a way for hospitals to analyze and assess what they currently pay for electricity (and other utilities). A registered individual who knows the rules and regulations around the kinds of savings a hospital can receive on their utility bill or electricity consumption must conduct the audit. This means that a hospital needs to outsource or request this service from an appropriate company or individual. They cannot conduct the audit themselves unless they hire an employees with the correct credentials.
An auditor will look at several areas and current processes including:
- Past utility bills
- Current electrical equipment
- Energy management policies
- Fuel sources
- Energy provider (if applicable)
Utility Audit Savings
The savings a hospital can receive from a utility audit are often quite significant. In many cases, organizations are simply paying for services that they just don’t need.
Once a utility audit is conducted, a hospital can always follow-up to ensure they receive the most out of their savings. For example, in New York, in 2015, a hospital was able to recoup thousands of dollars on the cost of electricity thanks to a re-audit conducted by a company that specializes in something called a, trailing audit. A trailing audit is conducted after an initial audit is completed, but the organization still believes there are more areas in which they can save. Ultimately, this trailing audit helped save the New York hospital thousands in electricity related costs.
Benefits of an Energy Audit
Overall, there are several benefits to an energy audit, some of which include:
- Negotiation or renegotiation of vendor contracts
- Better tracking of current and future usage
- Removal of unnecessary fees, services, and billing mistakes (past and present)
- Installation of new energy saving technologies where applicable (for future savings)
- Better access to high-volume provider discounts and deals
Therefore, any hospital that is looking to tighten up their utility expenditures should really consider hiring a company to perform a utility audit. In the long run, the report will help to expose areas for savings, which in turn will help a hospital to spend their money on improving other areas in their organization.
Electricity Rates and Plans for Hospitals
Medical offices, complexes, and hospitals that reside in deregulated markets can actively shop for new energy plans that can help them lower their monthly costs and keep expenses down. The right plan, locked in at the right rate, can make a significant difference in the cost of operating a medical office.
By shopping for a new energy plan, medical offices can:
– Find a lower kWh rate for their office electricity
– Take advantage of special incentives
– Lock in rates that will stay the same even as the market changes
– Sign up for long-term plans that will keep rates low for 24 months
– Find suppliers that meet their individual needs.
For many medical office owners, the shopping process focuses on choosing the right plan, as opposed to the right company. Choosing the lowest rate plan is usually the best bet for offices looking to reduce their overhead, but there are also other features to look for that can translate into long-term savings.
Fixed rate plans can ensure that energy costs stay the same no matter what happens with the market or what time of year it is. This is particularly important for office owners who want to budget for their estimated costs every month and who don?t want to worry about fluctuating prices.
There are also medical offices that care as much about saving the environment as they do about saving their patients. For these offices, deregulated energy markets offer consumers the ability to choose an eco-friendly electricity plan for their practice. There are plenty of retail suppliers that specialize in offering green energy plans and on keeping these plans affordable.
No matter what type of energy plan today?s top medical offices need, if they are in a deregulated market, shopping for electricity is a great way to reduce overhead. Doing this can help these practices lower their overhead costs and focus more on spending their resources helping patients in need.