Energy-efficient care

How can we analyse and reduce energy consumption in health and medical care?

Energy-efficient care

How can we analyse and reduce energy consumption in health and medical care?


Region Stockholm is aiming to reduce its energy consumption in properties by 10 per cent between 2011 and 2021, and by 30 per cent by 2030. However, there is no collective system for measuring, analysing and coordinating total energy consumption of both properties and the activities being conducted in them. Locum’s objective is to reduce energy consumption for hospital properties by 15% by 2021 and 30% by 2030.

Hospitals are major consumers of energy; both energy for technical systems and systems for care activities. Hospitals also conduct complex activities where energy is used in many different ways, which makes it difficult to gain an overview of energy consumption. The studies of the literature carried out during the pilot study confirm that there is little information or in-depth studies on how energy is used at hospitals and what options are available for energy efficiency measures.

The challenge for the project will be to find working methods to measure and analyse how different activities at hospitals use energy, and what opportunities there are for energy efficiency measures. It will also be important to identify the link between how energy is used, and the value added by energy consumption to actual care activities and patients. It is necessary to ensure that energy is being used “correctly”. One important aspect in respect of energy consumption at hospitals involves maintaining a good indoor climate for both patients and personnel. If the indoor temperature or humidity is too high, there is a risk of potential cancellation of surgery or destruction of sterile materials: these are just two examples of how the value of actual care activities is reduced. Consequently, it may be necessary to increase energy consumption and supply more energy in the form of cooling or heating so as not to lose value in care activities themselves.
Raising staff awareness of energy consumption and opportunities for energy efficiency measures is another priority area. Staff need to receive information and training so that they can assist with energy efficiency measures.
Health and medical care is a strictly regulated field when it comes to hygiene and the work environment, but also as regards requirements relating to information security and IT security. This has brought with it further challenges in the implementation of the technical solution for measuring, analysing and visualising results

The project has designed and implemented a technical system combining new technologies like sensors with batteries and NB-IoT communication, a cloud-based IoT platform, prognosis based on machine learning and specialized visualization of information to improve awareness and understanding of the indoor climate. The technical solution is named VAKEN (in Swedish Visualisering Av Klimat för Energieffektivitet).

Through a holistic perspective on energy use, the project has contributed to decreasing problems for patients and staff at hospitals and increased the safety for patients.

Traditionally, KPIs for energy consumption and energy efficiency measures have been based on “energy consumption per area” (kWh/m2). However, the project has also studied KPIs of other types based on total energy consumption from a life cycle perspective and the care benefits provided as a result, not just energy consumption within processes at the hospital.

The method used in the project was to identify areas, here called User Stories, where the project could add most value around energy management in a holistic view and also be able to make an implementation. The User Stories were specified by series of interviews and focus groups with the staff at Danderyds Hospital and facility management (Locum).

Four user stories are coupled to the departments at the hospital: 1. Outpatient Surgery, 2. Cardiovascular Intervention, 3. Sterilization and 4. Storage of sterile material. A fifth user story was 5. Energy management in general at the hospital buildings.

Initially, the project also had the ambition to make a detailed analysis of the energy consumption in the buildings at the hospital. The conclusion is, however, that the measurements that have been installed, even in a completely new building, are not detailed enough to be able to make an analysis of the energy consumption within different parts of a building but available data is sufficient for a general analysis.

The technical solution was implemented by collecting measurement data from sensors of different types, measuring factors such as air temperature, relative humidity and pressure. The measurement data from different sensors will then be collected in a digital, cloud-based IoT platform so that all measurement data is stored in a collective location. Various types of analyses and visualisations can then be carried out. One sensor type is wireless and based on NB-IoT, and therefore no gateway is needed. They also run on batteries, which makes them very easy to install and maintain. Another sensor type is also wireless but requires a gateway and a power supply. Moreover, there is already a SCADA/BMS (Building Management System) that collects measurement data of various types, including different types of energy consumption such as electricity, heating and cooling. SCADA/BMS also offers the opportunity to control the indoor climate.

The measurement data from the SCADA/BMS will also be transferred to the cloud-based IoT platform. Besides measurement data, access is needed to different types of activity information to permit analysis of energy consumption and identification of opportunities for energy efficiency measures.

More detailed visualisation has been installed at the hospital so that staff can gain a better understanding of how the indoor climate is working and when there is a risk of reaching critical levels. Staff can now receive information in advance when there is a risk of high temperature and high humidity, thereby giving them the opportunity to proactively take action

The Energy-efficient care project is a partnership involving Region Stockholm with Locum and Danderyd Hospital, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Vattenfall, Ericsson and Telia

The project has developed digital solutions that make it possible to analyse energy consumption for both property management and care activities. A pilot has been conducted at Danderyd Hospital to forge a close link with care activities and property management based on how energy is used. In an initial stage, the project has worked together with the hospital to identify the activities that are deemed to be of most interest, and that can be actively involved in the project.

Access to measurement data has also been taken into account when selecting activities. The sterile centre, sterile storage, day surgery and cardiac intervention have all been included. Analysis of energy consumption in general in the various areas and buildings has also formed part of the project. The technical solution VAKEN is currently in operation in selected parts of Danderyds Hospital.


The project officially concluded on November 30th, 2020, following the submission och a final report to Swedish Energy Agency and Viable Cities.

Project manager

Jeppe Calom (Locum, Aug – Dec 2020)

P-O Nylén (Vattenfall, Mar 2019 – Jul 2020)

Annika Larsson (Vattenfall, Sep 2017 – Feb 2019)


More information on the Energy-Efficient Care project

Energy for operations and property energy at Region Stockholm properties must be reduced by 10 per cent by 2021 and 30 per cent by 2030, compared with 2011. The Energy-Efficient Care project is implemented in cooperation with KTH and a number of technology companies as part of achieving this objective

Energy consumption at the county’s hospitals is currently managed based on a property perspective and is not based to any great extent on the energy supply demands of care activities. The project aims to test new digital solutions for energy consumption in a more cohesive and sustainable system. Another aim is to increase awareness of how energy is used and how energy consumption can be streamlined.

Pilot at Danderyd Hospital

The project began with installation of sensors and a technical platform to collect information on energy consumption from both the operations and the property. The pilot was conducted  at the sterile centre, sterile storage, day surgery and cardiac intervention . The data was then analysed and the technology optimised prior to further data collection. The analyses form a basis for research and scientific reports. The objective has been to devise a method for further development of digital solutions that can result in more efficient energy consumption.

Partnership with cutting-edge competence

This project is run by a partnership involving Region Stockholm with Locum and Danderyd Hospital, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Vattenfall, Ericsson and Telia. This partnership has cutting-edge skills in the fields of care processes, measurement systems, analysis, visualisation, technical platforms, cyber security and energy supply. The project is funded by the Viable Cities innovation programme financed by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas.

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