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EPA awards Chicago Green Healthcare Initiative $500,000 to reduce energy use by hospitals

Release Date: 03/04/2010
Contact Information: Phillippa Cannon, 312-353-6218, cannon.phillippa@epa.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 10-OPA023

CHICAGO (March 4, 2010) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has chosen Chicago to receive a $500,000 federal grant to reduce energy use by hospitals as one of 20 Climate Showcase Communities nationwide. Chicago has partnered with Health Care Without Harm to create the Chicago Green Healthcare Initiative. According to Chicago’s Comprehensive Climate Action Plan, energy use by hospitals and other buildings is one of the primary contributors to the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. The funds will help the partnership improve energy efficiency across the entire Chicago health care sector by 5 to 15 percent.

“Chicago’s Green Healthcare Initiative is an innovative strategy to reduce greenhouse gases and cut energy bills for hospitals,” said Cheryl Newton, EPA regional air division director. “Taking action on climate change is one of EPA’s top priorities. EPA is pleased to support Chicago’s efforts to fight climate change and help health care facilities throughout the city become carbon neutral.”

The partnership will use EPA funds to help 22 hospitals reduce energy use by 5 to 10 percent and will provide educational assistance to a total of 111 hospitals to help improve their energy efficiency. Typically, hospitals increase energy use 1 to 3 percent annually.

EPA estimates that the amount of energy used by the U.S. health care sector contributes $600 million per year to healthcare costs through increased asthma and other respiratory diseases associated with air pollution.

The Climate Showcase Communities Grant Program is administered by EPA’s State and Local Climate and Energy Program that provides technical assistance, tools and guidance to help state, local and tribal governments implement policies and programs to mitigate climate change.

A list of the 20 Climate Change Showcase Communities and profiles of each recipient is available at: http://www.epa.gov/statelocalclimate/local/showcase.

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