Athens, OH,
17:00 PM

OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital Earns Energy Star Certification a 2nd Time

For the second year in a row, OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital in Athens has earned ENERGY STAR® certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for superior energy performance.

The recognition represents proven, verified superior energy performance over a 12-month period. ENERGY STAR certified buildings perform in the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide. Certification is unique in the heathcare industry—O’Bleness is one of only 80 hospitals nationwide to have achieved Energy STAR status.

“Hospitals can have a significant environmental impact due to their energy consumption, waste production and resource use,” said O’Bleness president LeeAnn Lucas-Helber. “We have learned that by adopting sustainable practices, we can minimize this impact, while improving patient care and promoting public health.”

O’Bleness earned its first Energy STAR in late 2022. In 2023, Rural Action recognized O’Bleness with their Sustainable Partner Award for their efforts in landfill diversion, energy efficiency, healthy buildings, and sustainable procurement.

Earlier this year, O’Bleness Facilities Manager Kelcie Stevens was honored by the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce with the Young Professional of the Year award, in large part due to her championing of the hospital’s sustainability efforts that led to Energy STAR certification.

In addition to thanking associates and providers for their everyday efforts to cut energy waste and report opportunities for energy savings, Lucas-Helber credited Stevens and the hospital’s Facilities team for carrying out projects such as:

  • Converting to all-LED light bulbs, which use up to 85% less electricity, last longer and are more durable than other bulbs.
  • Introducing one of the first hospital-wide recycling programs within OhioHealth. To significantly reduce waste by 30%, O’Bleness partnered with Rural Action to place 66 recycling “hubs” throughout the campus and launch a battery recycling program. 
  • Upgrading VAV (variable air volume) controls throughout the hospital. By replacing 45 existing controls with digital ones, the Facilities team can automate the temperatures in different spaces. When labs, emergency department rooms and registration areas are not in use, at night for example, the temperatures are lowered.
  • Installing occupancy sensors in conference rooms, stairwells and mechanical areas. Post-COVID, with more non-clinical associates working hybrid schedules or remotely, hospital workspaces that were historically full of people may sit empty at times. New sensors within these spaces gauge movement, then ramp down equipment that controls lighting, heating and cooling when they are not in use.

“We are honored by the wealth of recognition our hospital and associates have received over the past year for our efforts,” said Lucas-Helber. “It is a testament to the continued dedication and hard work of our entire team to keep sustainability at the forefront of what we do.”