The NHS has committed to becoming the world’s first net zero national health service, by reaching net zero across Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2040, and across Scope 3 emissions by 2045.
But this is a health service that continues to face funding deficits, so building a net zero NHS will be challenging to say the least. And to make matters worse, the NHS Confederation has warned that higher than expected inflation is wiping out large parts of an already-stretched budget, which may lead to longer waiting times for care, and potentially even cut backs in patient care or staff. So how can your NHS trust balance it’s financial and environmental obligations?
As part of the latest round of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, NHS trusts can now access up to £635 million of government funding, so they can install new low-carbon heating solutions, like heat pumps, and other energy efficiency measures. This may help answer the question on how to fund elements of your decarbonisation journey.
But when looking at how you may invest these funds, it’s important to note that these energy solutions don’t just have to support your environmental goals. They can also help you to reduce your energy costs and protect yourself from price and supply volatility in the energy market. These sweet spots – where your environmental and financial goals can co-exist – could be the ideal place to begin or accelerate your net zero journey. Below are a few examples of how we’ve helped NHS trusts across the country to achieve exactly that.
St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is the largest healthcare provider in South-West London. It had been served by a 40-year-old energy centre, which had grown increasingly inefficient and incapable of meeting new environmental targets.
In response, the Trust partnered with Centrica Business Solutions to create a new energy strategy for the hospital as part of a 15-year Energy Performance Contract (EPC) covering a number of schemes across the site, including lighting, a building management system, chiller replacement and split unit air conditioning optimisation.
The Trust is guaranteed to save more than £1m a year during the 15-year contract with Centrica Business Solutions. It will also save 6,000 tonnes of carbon a year, the equivalent of the emissions from 3,000 cars.
In line with the NHS’s ambitious commitment to reach net zero by 2040, Hereford County Hospital - managed by Wye Valley NHS Trust (WVT) – initiated a £5 million energy upgrade plan to significantly improve their sustainability.
3,170 low energy lights have been installed in the main building, followed by more than 300 rooftop solar panels, 1,163 pipework installation jackets, 263 metres of pipework lagging, and a new six mile long ground source heat pump network. These measures are expected to reduce their carbon emissions by 510 carbon tonnes per year.
When Manchester University Foundation Trust (MGT) needed to replace the ageing energy estate at Wythenshawe Hospital and Withington Community Hospital, it offered an opportunity for them to reduce their energy costs and cut their carbon emissions.
They partnered with Centrica Business Solutions to deliver a 15-year Energy Performance Contract, which included installing two new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems, 9,200 new LED light fittings, and a new Building Management System. The solution is expected to reduce their annual carbon emissions by 25%, alongside unlocking significant cost savings.
Part of St Helens & Knowsley Teaching Hospital NHS Trust, Whiston Hospital has more than 800 beds and serves communities across Merseyside. In a bid to improve energy efficiency and operational resilience, the hospital invested £1.6 million to upgrade its energy infrastructure.
By replacing a 4.5MW boiler with a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system, they’ve reduced their annual carbon emissions by 3,000 tonnes and their energy spend by £500,000 – money which can now be reinvested in frontline patient care.
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