The Victorian Department of Health’s approach to statewide planning for energy efficiency is inadequate, finds this report.
The Department does not have a documented policy or plan and lacks a strategic focus and a coordinated approach. It also does not align with health services’ local planning.
While there have been improvements in energy efficiency across the health system over the past seven years, the lack of an adequate planning approach has potentially limited the gains that could have been made. Specifically, Department of Health (DH)'s planning approach limits its ability to demonstrate whether it is appropriately allocating resources to areas of greatest need or highest risk, and whether it is sufficiently prepared for emerging challenges.
DH believes that individual health services should be responsible for their own energy efficiency planning. However, this approach is not conducive to optimising and driving outcomes at a system level. Despite this stance, DH undertakes a range of ad hoc centralised activities. These activities include estimating cost pressures on health services to inform future planning activities and investigating the feasibility of expanding cogeneration energy supply—the simultaneous generation of two forms of useful energy—to selected metropolitan and regional hospitals. These activities confuse whether planning for energy efficiency is a statewide or health service level activity.