Bernhard and ProStar announce national agreement with HealthTrust for Energy-as-a-Service solutions

NEW ORLEANS, LA. (Feb. 18, 2020) – Bernhard and ProStar Energy Solutions (ProStar) announced today an agreement with HealthTrust to offer Energy-as-a-Service solutions to member hospitals and health systems nationwide. The agreement offers HealthTrust members a comprehensive choice of services including engineering design, construction, operations & maintenance and financing that are designed to reduce energy consumption.

“The Bernhard ProStar team has an innovative and valuable service offering that aligns perfectly with HealthTrust’s mission of improving operational excellence through total spend efficiency,” said Ed Jones, HealthTrust President and CEO. “We are excited to welcome them and look forward to the benefits that their Energy-as-a-Service solutions will bring to our membership.”

Bernhard currently works with nearly 1,400 hospitals nationwide, with healthcare facilities making up more than half of its Energy-as-a-Service operations. This agreement marks a decisive expansion in this space. Already, the firm calculates savings of $50 million in operating expenses every year for the healthcare facilities it serves.

“I am certain this first-of-a-kind agreement will prove beneficial to countless healthcare providers and the communities they serve,” said Bernhard CEO Ed Tinsley. “The unique capabilities of the Bernhard ProStar team are proven to reduce operating costs, enhance resiliency and reliability, transfer risk, and improve the bottom line.”

ProStar has more than 30 years of experience and has completed over 10,000 projects focused on energy optimization and sustainability, through lighting and solar solutions. ProStar is currently one of three LED vendors to provide lighting audit and design services, lighting product procurement, labor and installation services, and energy rebate administration to the members of HealthTrust. ProStar and Bernhard are currently delivering an Energy-as-a-Service project for AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

“We have a long history with Bernhard and are excited about this new opportunity to share our turnkey solutions in the healthcare sector with HealthTrust’s diverse membership,” said Jerry Jones Jr, ProStar Chairman.

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Five Steps to Achieve Your Facility’s New Year Resolution

It’s never too late to work on your New Year’s resolutions! Today, we’re going look at how you can determine your facility’s resolution and make 2020 a year of success.

Step 1: Identify what your facility is trying to change. We all have the best intentions, but it’s important to articulate a specific goal that is measurable and can be achieved within a certain time period.  Attaching a metric to a goal is key for staying on track for success. There are many variables that can be used to measure facility performance. It’s important to narrow your focus and select key metrics that matter most this year.

For example, one of the most common metrics for building energy performance is Site EUI. When major changes are implemented, like controls modifications or equipment upgrades, you will likely see the results in the EUI. This puts you in the driver’s seat to affect positive change. Other examples of key metrics could be: cost per square foot, equipment up-time or availability, number of occupant complaints, square foot per FTE, or number of work orders addressed.

Step 2: Establish a baseline. Before you launch new initiatives, reflect on your facility’s performance and get an accurate understanding of your current state and challenges. Always gather a full year of information, whether it’s a calendar year or fiscal year, so that you can see how your facility operates during each season. Compare your data and identify what has changed during that year.

Ask yourself:

  • Has the campus’ square footage changed?
  • Are any recent changes impacting energy consumption?
  • Are there any expansions planned during this upcoming year?

The answers to these questions will impact your metrics and need to be considered as you’re setting goals.

Next, collect and compile data for all of the major items you want to track. Utility bills, CMMS data, and your O&M budget are all great places to start with data collection. It’s important to establish one key place for this information to live. This may be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or as complex as a real-time analytics dashboard. Adapt this process to your needs to make sure your baselines are accurate and work for what you want to achieve.

Step 3: Make those changes! Much like in our personal lives, there isn’t one resolution that fits every facility.  Once you understand your recurring challenges and the metrics you want to impact, then you can develop a strategy to solve them. Your strategy will be unique to your facility, your staff, and your budget. Some examples include controls upgrades, equipment replacements, or specialized staff training. The building automation system is one place to check for “low-hanging fruit” changes that you can implement like room ventilation schedules or energy-saving sequences of operation.

If you need help identifying energy savings measures, Bernhard can help identify areas that need improvement and what savings you can expect from your upgrades.

Step 4: Measure your progress. Regular measurement and verification of your metrics is key to make sure the changes you implement are bringing you closer to your facility’s goal. There are different methods for measuring savings and tools of all kinds to help you.

  • ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is an easy way to get normalized data that factors in weather conditions or days in the month along with your energy consumption. After uploading your information, the site will calculate a score that indicates your performance compared to your peers.
  • Third party consultants to provide measurement and verification reporting that is tailored to your facility and project.
  • The International Performance Measurement & Verification Protocol (IPMVP) provides parameters for facilities to quantify their savings depending on the project complexity and expected savings.
  • Track savings on your own using the same types of data you’ve already collected in this process.

The frequency of your reporting is another consideration when measuring energy savings. Annual, monthly, and daily reporting all have their own benefits, so choose the method that best supports the business case for your initiatives.

  • Annual reporting provides a long-term look and year-over-year comparisons to the baseline.
  • Monthly reporting is a financial tool that can validate your changes by looking at actual consumption as shown on utility invoices. It gives you time to adapt strategies and make sure the facility is making progress.
  • Daily reporting is an operational tool that looks at what is happening now and answers the question: “Did the choices we made yesterday help performance today?”

Always be sure that key facility metrics, like gross square footage, FTEs, are correct because these numbers can skew the accuracy of your results. You’ll also want to normalize data over long periods of time to account for fluctuations like extra days in a month or unusual weather patterns.

Step 5: Celebrate your wins and lessons learned! Keep your team informed by sharing your results and lessons learned. You can use reports and progress of key metrics to give your team and leadership hands-on feedback on the facility’s performance. By openly discussing what works and what doesn’t, you can continue to try new strategies to optimize operations and move the needle of building performance.

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To learn more about measurement and verification options and other ways Bernhard can help with energy optimization at your facility, you can reach us at

Celebrating Bernhard’s Nashville Office

On October 10, Bernhard employees and clients gathered to celebrate the opening of the company’s first integrated office located in Nashville, Tennessee. The new office houses staff from each division — development, engineering, construction, and energy solutions.

“The decision to open an integrated office in Nashville is a key step in our business growth strategy,” says Ed Tinsley, Chief Executive Officer of Bernhard. “We’ve had the privilege of serving the Nashville market for 10 years. Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America, and this office solidifies our strong foundation as we continue supporting this great community and grow our presence in Tennessee.”

The reception was held at City Winery and included live music, food, drinks, and fellowship. The event was sponsored by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ashley Davidson, Director of Investment Engagement, welcomed Bernhard and its Energy-as-a-Service offerings to the city. Rusty Mullen, CEO of Bernhard TME and Bernhard Energy, and Philip Catanzaro, President of Bernhard MCC, also shared their gratitude and excitement with the crowd.

Bernhard’s companies have a long history and strong foundation of clients in the Nashville area. The new, integrated Bernhard office brings together our staff to ensure streamline communication and encourage innovation and collaboration across business units.

Jim Sabin Promoted to Chief Operating Officer

We are pleased to announce that Jim Sabin is Bernhard’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Since joining the firm in January, Jim has worked with Bernhard’s Executive Leadership Team to develop a strategic plan to advance internal systems and processes in support of our continued growth.

“Jim has proven to be an invaluable asset for our company,” says Chief Executive Officer Ed Tinsley, “he has demonstrated the kind of innovative and strategic problem-solving that is at the core of Bernhard’s culture.”

In his expanded role as COO, Jim will oversee the day-to-day operations of Bernhard, including the program management of Energy-as-a-Service projects, implementation of strategic initiatives, and continued advancement of internal processes.

Jim has over 35 years of experience in the engineering and construction industry, specializing in organizational leadership and effectiveness. Throughout his career, Jim has focused on innovation, continuous improvement, and enhanced operational execution. Prior to joining Bernhard, Jim served as an executive at Stone & Webster Engineering Corporation and The Shaw Group, Inc. Most recently, Jim served as Executive Vice President for Global Operations services at Chicago Bridge & Iron where he was a key member of the Executive Leadership team. He has also served a Board Director for NET Power, LLC.

Announcing Our New Orleans Headquarters

Today, we’re announcing our plan to combine Bernhard’s local New Orleans offices and establish our national corporate headquarters in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Bernhard has called Louisiana home for more than 100 years. We have experienced tremendous growth during this time, expanding from a local plumbing contractor into a national, engineering, contracting, and energy solutions firm. As our firm continues to grow, Bernhard’s leadership sought a new headquarters location that would provide increased access and convenience for our team.

“This is an exciting growth period for Bernhard,” says Chief Executive Officer, Ed Tinsley. “This move will help us continue building the next 100 years of Bernhard in Louisiana as we advance our historical lines of business and simultaneously invest in the future of energy technology, efficiency and related services.”

Bernhard will be based in The Galleria building in Metairie, a suburb in the New Orleans metropolitan area. The new office will employ approximately 250 local team members with expectations for continued growth in the coming years.

“New Orleans meets the criteria we sought for our new headquarters,” says Bernhard MCC’s President Philip Catanzaro. “This move will consolidate our growing New Orleans area workforce in one location to allow for greater collaboration and innovation and serve as an essential asset for our continued recruiting efforts.”

The move will take place in late 2019, with Bernhard’s new office expected to open in Metarie beginning in early 2020.

Bernhard Celebrates 100 Year Legacy

In 1919, William Bernhard founded Bernhard Plumbing and Sheet Metal Works in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, starting a legacy that would prosper into a new century.  What began as a small, family-owned plumbing contractor in South Louisiana is now one of the country’s largest engineering and contracting firms, delivering innovative and energy-saving services for clients across the nation.

This year we celebrate our 100 year history in the A/E/C industry. Our firm kicked off the centennial celebration with a festive gala at the L’Auberge Casino Hotel. Employees, clients, and friends gathered to commemorate four generations of notable achievements. The event included live music, dancing, toasts, and remarks from Chief Executive Officer Ed Tinsley.

Employees Give to St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Infographic of timeline, employees, and money raisedWe are thrilled to share that Bernhard completed our first ever employee giving campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In under a month, our compassionate and generous employees pledged $45,045 to St. Jude!

Bernhard is committed to assisting selected organizations that make a significant positive impact for those in need. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is one such organization.  St. Jude is making tremendous strides to advance the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago.  St. Jude is unique in that families of the children treated there do not receive a bill for care provided.

We are excited to come together as employees and as a company to support this amazing mission!