Castle Medical Center On A High-energy Roll

A costly revamp of its air conditioning and lighting systems has earned Castle Medical Center a yearly savings of about $190,000 on its electric bill and a healthy check for $647,637 from Hawaii Energy, the energy efficiency and conservation program for Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie presented the check to CMC last month. The award comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act fund, which expired in December. Hawaii Energy used it as an incentive for businesses and nonprofits, offering up to 25 percent of the cost of converting to more efficient operations.

“Partners like Castle Medical Center are key to helping our state reach the goal of 70 percent clean energy by 2030 through energy efficiency,” Abercrombie explained. “This is an example of how the state has put ARRA funds to good use.”

The hospital hired a local energy product developer, Energy Industries, to install a system to manage efficient air conditioning and lighting. This included installing two 450-ton water-cooled chillers, two 450-ton cooling towers and new lighting.

“Without the incentive funding, we would not have been able to complete this project as soon as we did,” said Kathryn Raethel, CMC president and CEO. “The total cost of our project was $2.3 million. With the 25 percent incentive, we were able to make this happen before the end of 2011.”

For more information on Hawaii Energy initiatives, visit its website at