It’s not easy to change a hospital’s power system. The buildings’ heating and electricity have to run without stopping or there can be a risk to patients and staff. While labs, research facilities and storage have to maintain steady temperatures or samples and medicines could be damaged.

Up and running in Plymouth

But Plymouth’s Derriford Hospital has managed it, and is on course to save 10% on its energy spend in the first year.

That works out to a projected saving of £228,000 per year or £3,420,000 over the 15-year contract.

The hospital’s new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit will handle 9% of its heating needs and almost half (49%) of its power needs. What’s more, the system will cut the amount of carbon the buildings produce by 1,800 tonnes.

All this as a result of an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) with British Gas that helps the Trust make a long-term investment with a guaranteed return in savings. By working with the EPC guidance, NHS Trusts can reduce their carbon emissions too.

Sustainable over time

Plymouth NHS Trust is not alone. As NHS Sustainability Day shows, the organisation’s workers are making changes at all levels to improve the National Health Service over the long term.

Of course, there’s more to sustainability than simply cutting costs. As Patrick Bevan, British Gas’s Head of Energy Performance, explains, ‘Helping find ways to save money on energy bills that can be reinvested back into patient care is so important to many NHS Trusts that we work with.’

10%-25% savings per year in London

In London, both Guy’s and St Thomas’ and St George’s Trusts will work with British Gas to save £1 million each per year on their energy costs. How?

The team are well into the design phase and the measures include a replacement energy centre, efficient lighting, HVAC systems, renewable technology and modern building management systems to reduce waste. St George’s Trust alone expects to cut costs by 25% in the first year, saving 6,000 tonnes of carbon; the equivalent of what’s produced by 3,000 cars.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Sustainability Manager, Alexandra Hammond, declares, ‘The 10% energy saving is a minimum target and I hope we will see even better results.’

As Patrick comments, the value of these results goes beyond immediate savings. Whether you’re a foundation trust or a one-man band, returns that can be reinvested in your organisation help create a sustainable future.

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