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Nashville Nonprofit Health Clinic Saves Energy, Reduces Costs with Square D® Wall Switch Occupancy Sensors

Nashville Nonprofit Health Clinic Saves Energy, Reduces Costs with Square D® Wall Switch Occupancy SensorsThe Siloam Family Health Center in Nashville, Tenn., has employed an energy cost-savings strategy using Square D® Wall Switch Occupancy Sensors from Schneider Electric, allowing allocation of more budget to maximizing patient care. The sensors, which use passive infrared (PIR) technology to detect occupancy, requires a button press to activate lighting in occupied rooms much like a standard light switch. If lights are accidentally left on when the room is vacated, the sensor automatically turns them off after a preset time delay. Forty sensors were co-donated by Schneider Electric’s three Middle Tennessee locations — Nashville, La Vergne and Smyrna — in December 2007, as part of the facilities’ Mission for the Community initiative.

“Schneider Electric delivers solutions that reduce overall energy costs and make life simpler for customers,” said Scott Jordan, Square D product marketing manager. “Square D Wall Switch Occupancy Sensors will help the Siloam Family Health Center achieve its mission of providing affordable health care to the community by reducing energy costs. By saving energy in unoccupied rooms, funds can be devoted to bettering the lives of others.”

The sensors, which were installed in January 2008 and are located throughout the clinic, feature a 180-degree field of view and cover up to 1,000 square feet. They are suitable for use with electronic and magnetic fluorescent ballasts and incandescent lighting. The sensors easily replace a standard light switch and do not require a neutral connection or minimum load, making retrofits easy and fast. Time delay is adjustable from 15 seconds to 30 minutes, and all sensors are factory pre-set to 18 minutes for optimum convenience and energy savings.

Nashville Nonprofit Health Clinic Saves Energy, Reduces Costs with Square D® Wall Switch Occupancy SensorsThe non-profit Siloam Family Health Center is a full-service clinic, providing care to patients from diverse backgrounds who do not have insurance. Patient donations are appreciated but not required, said Lisa Ellis, director of development. The center, located in a three-year-old building, comprises offices, X-ray and treatment rooms, conference rooms, a chapel and a pharmacy. It has a staff of 25 volunteers and is complemented by 500 volunteers, including Tuan Ta, who works at Schneider Electric’s La Vergne facility and was instrumental in organizing the donation.

“For an organization like ours, any cost savings in our operating budget allows us to see more patients,” Ellis said, adding the clinic served 16,000 patients in 2007. “Putting more of our budget into patient care is extremely important. We provide whole-person care, including mind, body and spirit. Because the clinic is faith-based, it does not receive any federal funding, and because we don’t get any insurance reimbursements, unlike other clinics, we have to raise our budget every year, which is challenging. I can’t tell you how much we appreciate the opportunity to be able to allocate more budget to our patient care.”

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