Health Care

El Dorado hospital working on $3 million energy project

A $3 million project is under way at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital, and officials expect the upgrades will save more than $228,000 a year in energy costs at the El Dorado hospital.

“It’s significant savings to us,” said Jim Poffinbarger, the hospital’s environmental services director. “We expect (to save) more than that. Over time it (the savings) will pay for the project.”

The project involves installation and replacement of energy-efficient lighting, sensors that automatically turn off lights in rooms that are unoccupied, the addition of new controls and recalibration of controls for electrical systems, and heating and cooling systems, as well as new boilers and cooling towers.

The work is being done on three buildings at the hospital campus: the main hospital, medical office building and dialysis center. Those buildings account for about 250,000 square feet.

Poffinbarger said most of the lighting has been replaced and next month, the new boilers and cooling tower will be installed.

The contractor for the work is Dallas-based Schneider Electric.

“They are, in our opinion, the best fit with what we wanted to do,” Poffinbarger said.

The project is expected to be complete by April 2013, he said.

Gene Kimble, the hospital’s marketing director, said the work has not affected the day-to-day operations of the hospital, including patient care areas.