Meriden Nursing Home Goes Green, Cuts Energy Costs
- Reduce energy costs at the 104-bed retirement community.
- Investigate environmentally friendly energy solutions.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary, The Bradley Home and Pavilion, in Meriden, Conn., needed to take a long-term approach to energy costs for the long-term care facility. The home provides two levels of care, with 74 beds in the residential care unit and 30 beds in the skilled nursing unit.
At the home, backup generators run on diesel. Three duel-fuel boilers, which can run on natural gas or #2 fuel oil, provide space heating and water heating during the winter. In the summer when the boilers are shut down, the facility uses three water heaters. Electric chillers are also used for cooling during the summer.
- Work with Yankee Gas and Aegis Energy, EDF Group, to conduct a free, detailed economic analysis to evaluate savings.
- Take advantage of grants and other incentives provided by the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to encourage businesses to invest in their own generating systems.
- Install a 75-kilowatt (kW) cogeneration system from Aegis. Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is a highly efficient way to simultaneously produce heat and electric power using a single fuel. Cogeneration is a very attractive option for buildings that consume large amounts of hot water and electricity every month.
- Grants for base load generation are $450 per kilowatt, but The Bradley Home will get an additional $50 per kilowatt because it is located in the 54-town section of southwest Connecticut where power congestion is most prevalent and reliability improvements are most needed. The grant reduced the installation cost by $40,000.
- The capital investment made a great deal of sense because natural gas distribution charges will be waived as part of the DPUC's program.
- Natural gas-fired cogeneration is highly efficient and environmentally friendly. While traditional power plants are about 30 percent efficient, combined heat and power systems are up to 84 percent efficient. With clean-burning natural gas, the process produces fewer harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and carbon.
- The cogeneration unit simultaneously produces electricity and hot water from a single fuel.
The Bottom Line:
The Bradley Home anticipates saving about
$30,000 annually and expects the unit to pay for itself in about four years.
"We're killing two birds with one stone," says administrator Molly Savard. "Not only do we expect to see substantial savings per year, but we're addressing our future energy costs, as well. We're being bombarded on all sides by increasing costs, so anything we can do to keep costs under control and help us take better care of our residents is welcome news."