Renewable energy for the NHS
Posted on 17th March 2020
From next month British Gas will provide 100% renewable electricity and Corona will provide natural gas to NHS properties across England.
NHS Property Services (NHSPS) is responsible for around 11% of the NHS estate. That’s over 3,500 properties amounting to more than 34million square feet; home to around 5,000 employees.
The move is part of an NHSPS ‘For a greener NHS’ campaign to promote sustainable practices in the face of climate change. By moving to 100% renewable electricity, NHSPS will offset over 40,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, and it won’t even cost any more. The aim is to transform the NHS estate so that it can run buildings more sustainably and continue to deliver excellent patient care.
With its new procurement strategy NHSPS says it will be able to manage risk and maintain budget certainty.
Did you know?
The NHS is currently responsible for around 4 to 5% of the UK’s carbon footprint. Last year NHS England said it would introduce co-ordinated measures to become more sustainable.
As well as switching to 100% renewable electricity, NHSPS has also committed £1.5million an LED upgrade programme and other energy-saving measures.
Currently, the NHS is one of the UK’s most energy intensive organisations, spending more than £750 million on energy each year. With energy prices increasing, the service could be spending more of its budget on energy each year if it doesn’t make major changes.
The UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) estimates that energy efficiency measures could cut this figure by up to 20%, saving £150 million each year. While this might involve capital investment of £1.5 billion, it could pay for itself in 10 years.
Investment in energy efficiency will deliver more reliable and resilient energy systems on NHS sites, reducing costs and operating risks.
Measures could include combined heat and power systems, more LED lighting, heating, ventilation and control systems, solar panels, battery storage, and biomass boilers.
An energy efficiency drive across the public sector aims to deliver a 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions this year, compared to 2009 to 2010. An Industrial Heat Recovery Support programme has been launched to encourage industry to invest in heat recovery technologies to use heat that would otherwise be wasted to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
The Construction Sector Deal is working to bring together the construction, manufacturing, energy and digital sectors to create new approaches that will improve productivity in construction and accelerate a shift to building safer, healthier and more affordable buildings that use less energy.
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