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CMS Updates Guidance on Alternate Energy Sources

A new categorical waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) permits new and existing health care facilities subject to CMS requirements to use alternate power sources other than a generator set or battery system.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) updated its Health Care Facilities Code (NFPA 99) in 2021 to allow emergency power supply for an essential electrical system from sources other than a generator or battery system.

In congruence, CMS has updated guidance to permit the supply of normal and emergency power by sources other than a generator or battery system, such as onsite alternative energy sources and micro-grids, which can be powered by fuel cells, solar, wind, and energy storage. Alternate power sources must comply with NFPA 99, the 2023 edition of the National Electrical Code, and associated references.

The categorical waiver excludes long-term care facilities that provide life support, which are required to have an emergency generator without exception.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at or 202.585.0127 with questions.


About the Author

Julie Kozminski is a senior policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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