Supporting Access to Health Care: Resilient Emergency Power for Florida Community Health Centers

May 24, 2023

Florida Association of Community Health Centers | Direct Relief, Clean Energy Group

Community Health Centers provide a broad array of medical services to areas where economic, geographic, or cultural barriers limit health care access. Health Centers typically serve vulnerable populations, including low-income residents, the uninsured, residents of public housing, and veterans. Power outages threaten the ability of Health Centers to safely open and provide critical health services.

The Florida Association of Community Health Centers (FACHC), in partnership with Clean Energy Group (CEG), Direct Relief, and Powered for Patients, conducted a survey on emergency backup power capabilities at Florida’s 800+ community health centers, with a survey response rate of 59%.

The findings are striking:

  • Over 60% of the Florida Health Centers surveyed do not have a backup power system on-site, citing cost and lack of technical knowledge as the largest barriers.
  • Power outages cost Florida Health Centers an average of $41,000 per day in lost revenue.
  • 83% of the Florida Health Centers surveyed store temperature-regulated vaccines on site, but only 40% of those facilities have backup power to maintain refrigeration in the event of an outage.

CEG and FACHC, with support and input from Direct Relief, summarized the findings of the survey in this report. The report includes a technoeconomic analysis for using solar+storage for emergency backup power at seven of the health centers surveyed.

Following the publication of this research, CEG and FACHC and Direct Relief will continue to conduct solar+storage feasibility assessments for Florida Community Health Centers that expressed interest in pursuing resilient power opportunities. Direct Relief has committed to funding solar+storage systems at up to fifteen Health Centers.

SEE ALSO: Report authors Marriele Mango and Gianna Van Winkle discuss the report’s findings on the “No Acronyms Allowed” podcast, a production of the Florida Association of Community Health Centers – listen here.