Energy & Carbon
However, energy savings can be made by turning lights off, using energy saving devices and replacing inefficient plant and equipment. Switching to low carbon forms of energy, such as renewables helps to guarantee supply and reduce the carbon footprint of the estate.
In 2001 the Department of Health set mandatory energy use targets for all NHS Trusts in England, requiring them to:
- reduce levels of primary energy consumption by 15% or 0.15 million tones carbon emissions from a base year of March 2000 to March 2010
- achieve 35-55 Gj/100 cu.m energy efficiency performance in all new capital developments, major redevelopments or refurbishments and existing facilities.
Meeting these targets would save the NHS an estimated £50 million. The NHS Strategy urges NHS Trusts to invest in the energy efficiency and resilience of the NHS estate which is particularly important in view of the current supply climate, escalating fuel costs and the potential impact of ‘peak oil.’ Switching to low carbon forms of energy, combined with energy reduction, helps to guarantee supply and reduce the carbon footprint of the estate.
Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) allows for an increased understanding of energy consumption on a near real-time basis - and is therefore a sueful tool in carbon and energy reduction. AMR allows energy prices to be substantially reduced by eliminating 'estimated billing'. It is conservatively estimated that 2% of annual energy costs can be saved by installing AMR. With subsequent demand side management this can increase to as much as 15%.
AMR is a physical product that replaces the current 'Dumb' electricity/gas/water meter. Currently most buildings have 'Dumb' meters, which need to be read manually, meaning that they are often read irregularly. If AMR is utilised, the 'Dumb' meter would either be replaced by a 'Smart' meter or a data logger which can increase reading frequency and billing accuracy.
Visit the Buying Solutions website for more informaton about AMR and also some pre-tendered Framework Agreements for AMR (including electricity, gas and water).
Combined Heat & Power
There is considerable appetite amongst NHS organisations to work with local authorities and others to support development of sustainable local community energy supply capacity. Linking in to the production of energy locally via CHP and district heating schemes is an obvious opportunity, as according to the UK Government's Energy White Paper, CHP schemes are expected to play a vital role in meeting the UK CO2 target and the Government’s own analysis shows that CHP, particularly at large scales, should be a very cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions. CHP schemes can reduce emissions and share benefits of cheaper energy with local communities. In the NHS, the Birmingham Heartlands Hospital NHS Trust scheme provides the Trust with cost savings of over £650,000 per year and is reducing their annual CO2 emissions by over 8000 tonnes.
The NHS is also keen to support local heating schemes that provide access to cheap energy to local communities because of our concern that with rising energy prices, energy scarcity and other energy supply issues, fuel poverty is increasing. Those who are fuel poor are more likely to suffer ill health.