Hospital Hit With Huge Power Bill Hike

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Portland District Health is being slugged an additional $266,000 or 80 per cent more in its electricity bill for the next 12 months.

Chris Giles, CEO said “We were expecting an increase, but not 80 per cent in one year, the State Government was saying power prices would go up by four per cent and this is what we were expecting it to be.

PDH's power bill will be between $500,000 and $600,000 for the coming year….. Health Purchasing Victoria, which negotiates all the power contracts for hospitals throughout the state, said it was the best deal they could negotiate.

PDH's current contract had expired, so a new one has been negotiated. At this stage PDH have no idea of how the hike will impact Portland.

We are negotiating with the Department of Health at the moment regarding our budget, we hope the department will provide extra funding to cover the costs, if not then we start having to look at more efficiencies and that is not the easiest thing to do in this economic environment. We don't want to lose any of our services at the hospital if we are talking about $266,000, then potentially that is a couple of wages.

Ms Giles said Portland District Health was in discussions with other health services in the south-west to form a cluster in relation to energy and process.

We are looking at what we can do as a group, she said.

It is not just Portland District Health that has been hit with the increases, my understanding it is nearly every other hospital is facing similar increases. I don't know, maybe we can have our own wind turbine at the hospital or make contact with the people making the battery storage in South Australia.

There is currently no solar at Portland District Health, the upfront capital costs to install solar would be exorbitant, we do have plenty of roof space for solar panels though.

The only form of renewable energy the hospital has ever used was the geothermal heating system and that was a long time ago now.

Ms Giles said the hospital needed power 24 hours seven days a week basis.

We do as much as we can in relation to energy efficiencies to reduce the amount of power used, such as LED Lighting.

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