Energy efficiency and cogeneration in public hospitals

Project description

Title: Energy efficiency und cogeneration in public hospitals
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Country: Chile
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy
Overall term: 2011 to 2015

Chile. Cogeneration (CHP) plant in the public hospital in Coyhaique. Â© GIZ 


Ever-rising energy costs pose a particular problem for entities operating public properties, such as hospitals, which require a great deal of heat and power. Over 4,000 hospitals in Chile are still using traditional boilers heated with electricity, oil, wood or gas to provide their hot water.

Cogeneration plants can simultaneously produce heat and power while reducing hospital operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions. However, this technology combining heat and power generation is not yet widespread in Chile.


Energy efficiency measures have been introduced and cogeneration plants installed at three public hospitals, and the strategy of energy contracting to conserve energy has been rolled out throughout the country.


Within the scope of the International Climate Initiative (IKI), GIZ is carrying out a pilot project concerned with energy efficiency and cogeneration in public hospitals on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB). The project partners are the Chilean Ministry of Energy, represented by the Chilean Energy Efficiency Agency (AChEE) and the Chilean Ministry of Health. The measures are integrated in the Chilean Government’s reconstruction programme.

Energy efficiency measures are being implemented and cogeneration plants installed in three selected hospitals: one in Coyhaique (Chilean Patagonia), one in Punta Arenas on the Magellan Straits, and the emergency hospital in the capital city of Santiago.

The project coordinates activities between the participating institutions, and is responsible for installing and commissioning the equipment as well as for measuring, verifying and disseminating the results. The pilot project also includes awareness-raising measures for the hospital staff, initial and further training on cogeneration and energy efficiency in hospitals, and activities to promote energy contracting in Chile. In this context, the financing agreements concluded for energy efficiency measures are designed to ensure that the savings made will cover the cost of the requisite investments.

Other hospitals with the potential for combining heat and power generation are provided with corresponding information and advice via the Ministry of Health. The business models and technologies developed in the health sector can subsequently be applied to schools, educational establishments, hotels, shopping centres and other public and private buildings.


All three cogeneration plants have been installed and are currently being commissioned. Once running, they will generate between 70 and 75 per cent of the electric power and around 30 per cent of the heat energy needed by the hospitals. Recent measurements have shown that with a useful life of 15 years, the investments will pay for themselves within five or six years. The production of greenhouse gases can be decreased by up to 50 per cent in each case. Hospital staff have been made aware of how to conserve energy in their work.