Issues of energy production and efficiency impact our community health, the health care industry, and our environment. By increasing our commitment to a true, “All of the Above” approach to energy policy, including reducing energy waste and diversifying our energy production portfolio, we can improve our community health, lower our health care costs, and protect our environment.
Energy Policy & Community Health
Reducing energy waste and increasing our commitment to clean, renewable energy will improve the overall health of our communities. A 2011 study linked 68,000 asthma attacks and almost 180 deaths annually in Michigan to the emissions (Nitrogen Oxides and Sulfur dioxide) of Michigan’s 9 oldest coal-fired plants (all built between 1949 and 1968) (Macintosh). These plants have also been linked to other health complications costing Michiganders more than $1.5 billion a year in health care costs (Macintosh).
By reducing energy waste and increasing our use of clean, renewable energy sources for our electricity production, we will reduce the harmful emissions that threaten the well being of our families, our friends, and our communities.
Energy Policy & Health Care
Reducing energy waste is a key component in reducing health care costs. The healthcare sector is the second largest commercial consumer of energy in the United States. Hospitals consume 2.5 times more energy per square foot than other commercial buildings, costing them more than $8.5 billion annually on energy. This cost, which increased 56% between 2003 and 2008, is expected to continue to grow at 2% a year (Burks). By reducing their energy waste, hospitals and health clinics can greatly reduce their operating costs, and thus their cost to patients. In fact, according to one recent study, every $1 a hospital spends on energy efficiency measures is equivalent to $20 in new revenue (Burks).