Energy & Carbon

Targets & Policies

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The Climate Change Act and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, as well as the NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy, provide structured targets that each NHS organisation must meet.

To help organisations better prepare for government regulations and targets, such as the Climate Change Act and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, better metrics are required. Currently ERIC collects data on direct energy usage and some indirect usage. However the data collected will be amended to establish metrics which allow each NHS organisation to benchmark their actions and set themselves targets for reduction based not just on energy use but also on travel and procurement activities.

The 2008 Climate Change Act sets legally binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the UK by at least 80% by 2050, and reductions in carbon emissions of at least 26% by 2020, against a 1990 baseline. The Act aims to enable the United Kingdom to become a low-carbon economy and gives ministers powers to introduce the measures necessary to achieve a range of greenhouse gas reduction targets. An independent Committee on Climate Change has been created under the Act to provide advice to UK Government on these targets and related policies.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) is an innovative climate change and energy saving scheme for the UK. It will encourage improvements in energy efficiency which can save organisations money. The scheme has been designed to generate a shift in awareness in large organisations especially at senior level, and to drive changes in behavior and infrastructure.

The CRC will apply to organisations, including NHS Trusts, that have a half-hourly metered electricity consumption greater than 6,000 MWh per year. Organisations qualifying for CRC have all their energy use covered by the scheme, this includes emissions from direct energy use as well as electricity purchased. 

MARCH 2011 Update: Following consultation and government changes the following alterations have been made to the CRC:

  • the revenue recycling scheme has been removed (although there is a possibility it will be reinstated in the future)
  • the first sale date has been moved to April - July 2012 (rather than April 2011), meaning it will no longer be advance purchase
  • there will be a single, transparent unit price (march 2011 budget sets at £12/tonne) 
  • the Information Disclosure Requirement (for organisations with 3,000 - 6,000 MwH) has been removed
  • the Introductory Phase has been extended to March 2014
  • phase two qualification has been delayed to 2012-2013 (instaed of 2010-2011)

Many of the changes are involving adidtional consulation, so the scheme may continue to change and evolve. For the most up to date information - visit the CRC page on the DECC website.

The SDU has produced these hints to help NHS Trusts who fall within CRC boundaries:

1. Assuming you are in, make sure you have information or you can get information about your annual energy use
2. Work out your total emissions and your CRC emissions (excludes transport)
3. Call the Carbon Trust Standard (CTS) Company and discuss with them the benefit and feasibility of achieving the CTS in time to benefit from the CRC Early Action Metric.
4. Meet with your finance director and provide them with all the above information ensuring you highlight
  a. the timeframes for compliance with the scheme,
  b. the fact that there is a publicly available performance League Table,
  c. the fact that a senior director will need to be ‘nominated responsible’ and sign off emissions reporting to the Regulator (the Environment Agency)
  d. the need to produce a footprint report, an annual report and provide an evidence pack to the Regulator
  e. the need to report accurately or pay penalties. If you don’t submit an annual report by the deadline, you will have to pay a fixed fine of £5000.  This information will be publicly available.
5. The EA will be auditing 20% of organisations annually

SEE THE 'KEY INFO' BOX ON THE LEFT FOR THE UPDATED CRC USERS GUIDE, THE LATEST CRC UPDATE AND A USEFUL DOCUMENT FROM THE CARBON TRUST. Also have a look at the Department of Health website and the Environment Agency websites, as well as DECC.

Case Studies

In 2008 the Renal unit at Royal Cornwall Hospital Truro took part in a climate change and carbon reduction initiative.  From it flowed a short list of immediate actions, and some longer term actions both to improve the service and cut carbon.  Some of the easiest actions such as a 70% reduction in linen use, and reducing food waste from 35% to near zero, also resulted in immediate savings of carbon, and c£8k cash, more than paying for the programme.

A copy of NHS Bournemouth and Poole's Low Carbon Strategy - developed by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (commissioned) in April 2009.

A copy of Devon Partnership NHS Trust's Sustainable Development Action Plan, as reported to Board in September 2009.

A copy of NHS Gloucestershire's Sustainable Development Strategy 2009-2015.

NHS Swindon's Sustainable Development Management Plan, approved in January 2010.

News

  1. Mon, 19/03/2012

    The BMJ has just published a spotlight on climate change on ...

  2. Wed, 01/02/2012

    Today the NHS SDU launches its new publication '...

  3. Thu, 13/10/2011

    The NHS SDU has become one of the founding members of a new global initiative: Global Green and Healthy Hospitals - which supports existing efforts around the world to promote greater sustainability and environmental health in the health sector and thereby to strengthen health systems...

  4. Wed, 12/10/2011

    Information is now available from the South West Public Health Residential School, held at Dartington in September 2011.

  5. Mon, 26/09/2011

    These documents provide the essential information that any sustainability professional, new or old needs to know. Topics range from supply chain to the built environment to energy management. If you're new to sustainability, they offer the perfect introduction, with loads of links to...

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