By Tim McGreevy • March 14, 2018

How a new chiller saved one hospital $312,000 annually

When the old chillers were failing, no one knew the extent of the possible energy cost savings.


It was late 2012 and St Joseph Medical Center’s Community Campus hospital (since merged with Penn State Health Network) was ready to replace two 200 ton steam absorption chillers and a cooling tower that had served the patients, doctors and medical staff since 1956.

After weighing their options and after seeing the innovative, cost effective and energy saving capabilities of the mechanical design work by EffectivEnergy Solutions LP. The hospital chose to go with Effectiv's strategy to install two new Trane 200 ton centrifugal chillers and a new cooling tower in the same locations as the failing equipment.

The savings after the first year’s operations were impressive.

  • Natural gas usage in the main boiler plant declined 57% for an entire year.
  • Electricity usage, instead of rising with the new large electrical chillers, actually went down 9%.
  • The total annual energy costs of the building went from $805,000 to $486,000 or a savings of $312,000 (40%).
  • There will be almost no maintenance costs for the new chiller system for 5 years as these costs were part of the chiller contract. The new equipment will last for another 30 to 40 years or more if properly maintained.
  • Water use by the cooling tower is down by 50,000 gallons per year.


If you have an old chiller or old large HVAC equipment that is costing you significant amounts of energy, money, maintenance costs and/or negatively effecting operations - we are confident we can help.




The final cost of the project, including new building controls, new pumps with variable frequency controls, and other improvements to the mechanical room and roof was approximately $1,000,000.

The energy saving project will pay for itself in three years.

The overall time to accomplish the project was three and one half months. Engineering began February 2013 and the new chillers started up in mid May 2013.