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Presence Saint Francis Hospital of Evanston Shines in Energy-saving Competition

Presence Saint Francis Hospital of Evanston has distinguished itself in a competition among 10 area hospitals to see which could recruit the biggest energy-saving team and help Chicago-area homes use a cutting-edge online tool to save money, Presence Health and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) announced.

Presence Saint Francis Hospital finished in the elite top three in the Presence Health Energy Competition, recruiting 99 staff and community members to join CUBenergysaver.com. 

That’s CUB’s free online energy efficiency service that’s shown people how to cut their home electric and natural gas bills by an average of more than $100 a year.

Also in the competition, Presence Holy Family Medical Center of Des Plaines recruited 146 members and Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, Chicago, recruited 129 members.

Those three hospitals bested seven others in the competition including Presence Mercy Medical Center, Aurora; Presence Our Lady of the Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago; Presence Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago; Presence Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center, Chicago; Presence Saint Joseph Hospital, Elgin; Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center, Joliet; and Presence St. Mary’s Hospital, Kankakee.

Overall, the 10 hospitals in the competition recruited 700 people to join energy-saving teams, and saved a total of 93,600 kilowatt-hours of electricity, for estimated savings of more than $10,000. That is roughly a decade’s worth of power usage for the average Illinois home.

“Evanston once again has shown that it’s an energy efficiency leader in Illinois,” CUB Executive Director David Kolata said. “Through fun competitions like this, Presence Saint Francis Hospital is helping to spread the word that we can’t have a greener, more reliable, and more affordable energy future without efficiency.”

What makes Presence Saint Francis Hospital’s performance even more impressive is that this was its second CUB Energy Saver Competition. The members from that previous competition in 2011 were not eligible for the current contest, but Presence Saint Francis Hospital still placed third with 99 new members. Including both competitions, the hospital now has 270 members on its energy-saving team.  

“Our green team has only been established for a couple of years, but we’ve made a lot of progress," said Joe Stark, Presence Saint Francis Hospital’s facilities manager and team leader for the competition. “CUB Energy Saver comes at no cost, and it's great for getting ideas on how to reduce energy costs and put more money in your pocket. The online service has opened our eyes that there are alternative measures that anyone can take to save money.”

This year’s competition—a collaboration of Presence Health, The Inspired Workplace, and CUB—is just one part of an ongoing Presence Health green campaign. Last year the hospital system saved $8 million through efficiency improvements.

 Managed by CUB and the software firm C3, based in Redwood City, Calif., CUBenergysaver.com allows ComEd customers to sign up and choose from hundreds of actions to build a customized plan to cut their home’s utility bills. Since 2010, the tool has shown people how to save $2.3 million on natural gas and electric bills, for an average of about $108 a year. 

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