Do not panic, the fear of possible load shedding in hospitals has been swept away by the government. The latter, however, called in mid-October on the regional health agencies (ARS) to “anticipate the risks of electricity and gas supply for the winter of 2023”, in particular by identifying “all the establishments which would be in a situation of fragility”.

As a precaution, hospitals must stock up on fuel oil in case they need to activate emergency generators.

Hospitals do not benefit from the tariff shield put in place by the government for individuals and small businesses. They therefore fear a surge in their bills, “which should be multiplied on average by three or four”, according to Rudy Chouvel, sustainable development manager at the French Hospital Federation.

“This represents millions of euros and will make the financial management of many establishments very difficult,” he notes.

The hospital sector is a juggernaut: its public and private establishments represent 130 million square meters, according to Anap, the national agency which helps health establishments improve their services. That is an electricity consumption equivalent to that of 5 million households.

– Laundries and kitchens –

In addition to electricity, hospitals are also major consumers of gas for heating, domestic hot water, laundry services and kitchens.

The establishments most vulnerable to this surge in energy prices are those at the end of their contract with their energy supplier or in the process of being renewed, explains Camille Devroedt, expert in sustainable development at Anap, which could put in question “the security of their supply”.

To mitigate this risk, a purchasing center helps the establishments concerned by pooling purchases, which will ensure that they are supplied with electricity and avoid shortages, she specifies.

But more than ever, the time has come to reduce energy consumption in hospital services. Establishments are encouraged to implement immediate measures and to audit their energy consumption in order to identify possible savings.

Among the measures recommended by the agents responsible for leading the energy transition in hospitals, a temperature of 22 degrees in patient rooms (against often 24 degrees currently) and 19 degrees in administrative premises.

– Its own electricity –

The Ministry of Health and two national agencies (CNSA and Anap) have launched the recruitment of 150 people dedicated to the energy transition of health and medico-social establishments.

Julien Bestion is one of them and deals with these issues for health and medico-social establishments in the Tarn. He is responsible for implementing “simple” measures (replacing obsolete bulbs with LEDs, installing presence detectors, closing windows, etc.) in order to reduce the consumption of the 25 structures he supports by 10%. the way to energy sobriety.

He underlines “the importance of pedagogy because all these gestures are not yet part of habits”.

The current energy crisis is accelerating the need to act quickly to reduce electricity and gas costs, but this concern is not new to the hospital sector.

Thus, the Poitiers University Hospital has been producing its own electricity since the mid-1990s. The Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris has reduced its energy consumption by more than 2% each year since 2017 (up to 6% in 2020). .

“The advantage of this crisis is that the short term and the long term are aligned”, advances Stéphane Pardoux, director general of Anap. The subject “consensus” and arouses “a real collective enthusiasm within the establishments”.