St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital, Coaldale, will be installing more than 225 new energy-efficient windows by June, 2010, thanks to a federal grant obtained through U.S. Congressman Timothy Holden.

On Monday afternoon, Holden (D-17) presented the hospital with $525,000 in federal energy and water appropriation funding toward its Energy Efficient Improvement Project.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hospitals in the United States are among the most energy-intensive buildings in the country and consume over $5 billion of energy costs annually.

The window replacement program is the beginning of a comprehensive initiative to manage energy costs while improving facility infrastructures. Savings realized from reduced energy costs will be reinvested into patient care at the hospital.

William Crossin, St. Luke's Miners president, said the current windows were installed more than 35 years ago.

"They are in poor condition, lack the proper sealing, resulting in water leakage, heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer," said Crossin.

The Energy Efficiency Improvement Project seeks to begin installing technologies throughout the hospital that reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions, while saving money and energy.

A model of the new window, which was about one-eighth scale from full size, was on display in the hospital's board room, as well as an artist's rendition comparing the current exterior of the facility with how it will look when the new windows are installed.

The new windows are insulated glass units that are hermetically sealed and provide the highest level of insulation and daylight to enter the room.

Holden, of St. Clair, noted his father had served on the board of directors of the former Coaldale State Hospital from 1958-62. Holden said the $525,000 for the hospital was signed into law and earmarked for the Department of Energy through President Barack Obama as part of the 2010 Energy and Water Appropriation bill.

The $33.5 billion spending bill funds government energy and water programs for the 2010 budget year that began Oct. 1.

Ralph Richards, hospital administrator, said the project will cost $705,000; Crossin noted St. Luke's Miners will absorb the rest of the costs. By going green, the facility will improve the health and recovery rate of its patients and minimize the impact on the environment.

"This is an earmark. It is something that can and will be used by this hospital," said state Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-124). "It's exciting," added Susan Solt, president of Coaldale Borough Council.

"A top priority of mine in Washington is to secure federal resources for projects in my Congressional district," said Holden. "I am pleased that the St. Luke's Miners Memorial Hospital will be able to use these funds to ensure that the hospital increases energy efficiency and reduces energy costs.

"By conserving dollars that are currently spent for energy, St. Luke's can redirect those dollars to caring for the citizens that rely on the services at the hospital."

"Congressman Holden, I appreciate your support for this community and its hospital," said Crossin. "On behalf of its citizens and our staff, thank you for your determination and support of the Coaldale community."