NHS Trust to save £9m with energy efficiency upgrade

Scarborough Hospital's new low-carbon energy centre, which includes a combined heat and power (CHP) unit, is set to deliver savings of more than £9m and almost 32,000 tonnes of carbon reduction.

The centre was officially opened on NHS Sustainability Day, which highlights the important role sustainable development can play in health service delivery

The centre was officially opened on NHS Sustainability Day, which highlights the important role sustainable development can play in health service delivery

The centre, delivered by York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with renewable solutions provider Vital Energi, is expected to reduce carbon emissions annually by 38% during a 15-year energy performance contract.

The Trust’s chief executive Patrick Crowley officially opened the centre yesterday (23 March) to coincide with NHS Sustainability Day.

“On behalf of the Trust I am delighted to officially open the refurbished energy centre at Scarborough Hospital,” Crowley said. “By reducing energy costs, we can reinvest savings into front line services and patient care.”

‘Fantastic achievements’

The CHP unit will supply all of the hospital’s night-time electricity and more than 70% of its day-time electricity. Meanwhile, improved boiler control will provide a substantial contribution to the heating and hot water supply.

The upgrade follows similar energy saving and carbon reduction projects at York Hospital and Bridlington Hospital. The overall programme is set offer more than £26.5m guaranteed savings for the Trust – money which will be reinvested into patient care. Across the three sites, carbon emissions are projected to be cut by 5,800 tonnes a year, a reduction of around 27.6%.

Vital Energi project development director Ashley Malin commented: “York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust was one of the first in the UK to embrace this type of energy infrastructure upgrade with guaranteed returns. 

“Their commitment to reducing their emissions and producing value for money has seen them revolutionise the way they generate and use energy and NHS Sustainability Day is the perfect opportunity to congratulate them on their fantastic achievements.”

NHS Sustainability Day is a national day of action across the health sector. Each year NHS Trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Hospitals and organisations take action to highlight the important role sustainable development can play in health service delivery.

As part of the celebrations, Vital Energi announced that its carbon reduction guarantees to the NHS have passed the 1 million tonnes mark and will see the company’s partner Trusts and Health Boards save more than £300m in energy costs.

Sustainable treatment

The health sector has taken great strides to embed climate adaptation into its business model. Recent research found that an online tool could save the NHS more than £400m while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions by one million tonnes each year by 2020 and providing health benefits to patients.

A host of Trust sites have begun implementing low-carbon measures to reduce emissions and generate economic savings. Salford Royal Hospital in Greater Manchester is expected to slash £1.9m from its annual energy bill thanks to an efficiency programme part-funded by the Green Investment Bank (GIB).

Asset management firm Aviva Investors has pledged a £15.4m commitment to create a new energy efficiency scheme and centre at NHS Tayside in Dundee; while Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, Norfolk, is making use of renewable electricity generated on-site thanks to a wind turbine installed by green energy supplier Ecotricity.

Meanwhile, a specially-developed journey-sharing app is helping NHS staff across Bristol and South Gloucestershire reduce congestion, CO2 emissions and travel costs by enabling them to find walking, cycling or car-pooling "buddies" to share their daily commute to work.

George Ogleby


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