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Supporting the public sector energy challenge

Distributed energy solutions can help Britian's public sector take control in new exciting ways; unlocking more than £375m in cost savings every year.

Our report, Powering Britian's Public Sector, highlights the potential cost and carbon savings across three key sectors; healthcare, universities and defence. The report finds that if just half of public sector organisations within these three sectors updated their energy infrastructure, the results would be substantial. Freeing up capital for investment in frontline services and assisting the public sector in meeting the government's 30% emission reduction target by 2020/21.


Cumulative potential savings over a typical 15 year energy contract.
Potential tonnes of CO2 emissions saved per year.
Energy savings in NHS are equivalent to 5,800 nurses.

Building an energy efficient public sector

At a cost of about £3.4bn per year, the energy used by Britain's public sector is a sizeable expense. And with public expenditure under increasing focus, coupled with set targets for carbon emission reduction, there is ample scope for reduction in cost and carbon.

Our Powering Britain's public sector report highlights how three key segments can benefit from distributed energy solutions. Across our healthcare, university and defence networks, the installation and optimisation of energy saving and carbon reducing technologies has the potential to reduce energy spend by £5.4bn over 15 years, and reduce carbon emissions equivalent to 666,000 tonnes of COper year. Additionally, distributed energy solutions could unlock £1.7bn in additional Gross Value Added (GVA) to the British economy, while supporting 25,000 jobs.

At a high level:

  • The NHS could save £187m and 450k tonnes CO2 emissions per year
  • Universities could unlock savings of £146m and 160 tonnes CO2 emissions per year
  • Defence has the potential to save £43m and 48 tonnes CO2 emissions per year

The public sector opportunity

Our report savings were modelled on real life examples of measures implemented by Centrica customers (read more about our methodology in the report).

These customers have implemented a range of distributed energy solutions such as onsite generation, including solar and CHP, battery storage, demand side response and energy efficiency works.

We also believe that cost and carbon emission savings can be enhanced through additional technologies, such as:

  • Improved understanding of energy usage by linking together energy consuming devices, assets and locations via IoT energy analytics
  • Undertaking the transition to electrified transport through the installation of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure
  • Creation and use of Virtual Power Plants to improve grid flexibility, enhance site resilience and enable revenue generation from DSR programmes
  • Procurement of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to further reduce the carbon footprint of energy use

Download the full report and find out more